Thursday, February 4, 2016

Eryn Allen Kane - Aviary: Act II

photo by Bryan Allen Lamb

When singer/songwriter Eryn Allen Kane released her debut single, "Have Mercy," last April, she turned a lot of heads in the music industry. 

But when Prince takes notice...? That's a big deal. Not one to mince words, Prince stated that he needed Kane's "soul...." to contribute to a significant single for the summer, that being the eventual July-release of "Baltimore."  

Kane grew up on Detroit's east side, attending Detroit School of the Arts, but started out, really, as an actress. A summer spent abroad in Australia sparked her creative spirit and she hit the ground running in late 2014, settling in Chicago. She produced all of "Have Mercy" herself, an impressive debut that pulled in tastemaking ears from NPR, The Fader, Essence, and most recently, Chicago-based RedEye (interview). 

If you didn't hear her on "Baltimore," then you may have seen her at the movies; Kane was handpicked for a role in Spike Lee's controversial Chi-Raq, along with one of her songs featured on the soundtrack. 

Anticipation had built up through the year, leading to Kane releasing her proper debut EP Aviary: Act 1, featuring "Piano Song" (streaming above). 

On Tuesday, Kane put out followed-up with Aviary: Act II, featuring "How Many Times," an billowy piano-led ballad with a soft, catchy hook blending R&B and gospel with sweet indie-soul. That vibrant vibratto she hits is electrifying, a cool catharsis sizzling more viscerally with each verse, building with those back-up singers and those chest-thumping drums until it all pares back again, like a raging storm fading to a mist...


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