It’s hard not to like Emma Stevens, she spins a chirpy, rootsy pop with an ability that turns the world on a sunny smile. This is album number three, and to be honest it’s no great deviation from previous work, catchy tunes, heart felt lyrics and a rush of country tinged back melodies which hold a certain earthiness.
Obvious inspiration comes from an early love of decent singer writers and those who give up beat creations a tinge of tradition, if you’re thinking Dixie Chicks or The Corrs, then you’re not that far off. However To My Roots is surely her own design and unless my ears deceive me, is more personal this time round. Despite what you’ve already read here, she has known darker times in her short career and some tracks are slowed or introspective more than light and airy, yet through it all, Brave, Written In The Stars there is undeniable optimism, always looking for a brighter tomorrow. That’s no bad thing we do need artists of a cheerier disposition, after all the cause of anyone is made more palatable by making people think and not to lecture them into submission as so many singer/writers seem to do these days.
Stevens though is an altogether different stripe, she’s wandering through a wood with a guitar handy on the cover shots, her face split by a huge beaming smile, her individuality written deeply into bouncing rhythms across numbers like Sing Out (Hey La Hey Lo,) just the sort of concert opener that’ll be in her set for the next decade. Let InThe Good could be a slice of philosophy which’s confirmed by Money Can’t Buy me. A gratifyingly alternate piano and organ driven take of Kimberley Rew’s Walking On Sunshine,closes the album, cello to the fore it’s a wrap around hymnal which’ll leave the faithful feeling fuzzy and warm.
Go with the flow and To My Roots is a pleasant diversion, revivifying the drop in temperatures and the change of the season.
Out on Emma Stevens Music. www.emmastevensmusic.com