The singer/songwriter genre is one that does not get very much representation in my music collection. For one, I find it a hard one to form an opinion about. Since it is such a personal and intimate one, I’m never quite sure how to react. It’s like reacting to a friend’s poetry; you’re not sure if you understand or enjoy it, but you don’t want to say anything because it’s such a personal medium. Also, while I can certainly enjoy a barebones guitar-and-voice song or two, I generally tend to lose interest with a whole album’s worth of it, unless it offers something particularly unique.
And offer something unique is what Anamude (one Ana Hortillosa) manages to do on her Urban Comfort EP. There’s something particularly endearing about her music that sets it apart from the rest of the female singer/songwriter group.
The first two tracks, “Excerpt” and “Brokedown,” might as well be considered one, as the former is a 54 second little song that just bleeds into the latter. “Excerpt” finds her singing to quiet picking, her voice elevating itself above everything else and stopping right before the CD player makes the transition to the next song. “Brokedown” picks up where “Excerpt” left off, with leftover guitar strumming wandering about for a little over two minutes before gaining more momentum and shape. It turns into the only real aggressive song on the disc, with Ana playing harder and delivering lyrics at a faster pace than elsewhere on the EP.
Next are a trio of songs titled “Urban Comfort,” nos. 1, 2, and 3. The first is the most accessible and memorable track on the disc, with a chorus of soaring vocals and charming lyrics (“There’s an open road and I approach it real slow/Remember the times I’d ride my bike to ‘Welcome’ signs/I’d reply ‘hello, hello‘”). It ends up sounding more layered and full than the other songs, which are sparser in comparison. The second features a rising, intricate guitar melody and more ascending vocals, and the third is a quieter, more introspective song. They are all tied together with Ana’s high-flying vocals, which are breathy, child-like, and pleasant. The last track features accordion, which adds a different, more open tone that stands out from the rest of the album and makes me wish she had incorporated more instrumentation into the other tracks as well.
Certainly, a nice little release. The six songs contained on it are good enough, but add to them the CD’s beautiful packaging and it really does feel like something special. As I said earlier, I have trouble forming an opinion about this kind of music, but I think I can say confidently that I like Anamude, and I only hope that her voice reaches as many interested listeners as possible.
Written by Richie DeMaria.