American musician Kristen May originally made her mark on the music scene as a founding member of indie rock ensemble Vedera before taking up vocal duties for Flyleaf in 2012. Having toured the world over and released several albums between both bands, she turned her attention towards writing her debut solo endeavour, Conversations, late last year.

The recently released eight track record opens with the optimistic pianos and enlivening vocals of “Just Need You”. The music remains retrained yet riveting in the first verse, allowing the refrain to really resonate. There’s an uplifting air surrounding the whole thing as it sails smoothly forward, keeping quick and compelling all the way through to its effective finish.

“Your Closeness” starts subtle next with soft singing amid gentle instrumentation. The music and melody steadily increase in momentum while simultaneously staying subdued and soothing. An exhibition of affecting riffs enthrals in the third minute ahead of a final heartfelt harmony that leaves a lasting impression.

The poignant pianos of “Parachute” endear as they drift in the direction of some very vibrant vocals. Things stay sedate and stirring as the keys continue to captivate underneath the strikingly sonorous singing. What results is a beautiful ballad that makes an extremely powerful impact. “Easy Love” grows gradually out of its wake, exuding an ethereal ambience that’s wonderfully relaxing. Cordial acoustic guitars glide gracefully alongside a mellow melody, creating a cogent yet calming composition which washes warmly across the senses.

“The River” feels forceful as it stomps off upon vigorous vocals and energising instrumentation. Its commanding chorus is made remarkably arresting by vitalising vocals atop invigorating guitars. This is succeeded by an equally engrossing second stanza before a sequence of sobering riffs arrives to deliver an elegant ending. “Don’t Forget” is an affable affair afterwards, brought to life by reassuring guitars interlaced with spirited singing. There’s a touching undertone to the entire thing that makes it mesmerising throughout.

“Magic” maintains an emotional ambience via a sincere serenade and tender instrumentation. Its pianos are peaceful and pleasant while the refrain resounds rousingly from start to finish. “What Coulda Been” begins bright then with a bracing beat that builds beneath upbeat vocals. The mood remains merry as it all speeds enthusiastically forward to forge a fervent finale.

May’s first venture into the world of solo recording has given rise to some truly enchanting material. Conversations is an incredibly inspirational assortment of pop/rock pieces that can easily be enjoyed by fans of a vast variety of genres. Be sure to check it out for yourself on iTunes now.

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Graduate of NUI Maynooth's Department of English, passionate writer of fiction and creative non-fiction alike. Mad about music, movies and books. If there's anything I enjoy more than listening, watching and reading, it's writing about what I listen to, watch and read! Check me out at davecsimpson.wordpress.com, find me on Twitter @davesimpson1 or drop me a line at dave@puremzine.com