Boston born folk singer Michelle Lewis first discovered a love for composing at the age of fourteen after getting her hands on her father’s acoustic guitar. This led to her attending the Berklee College of Music ahead of a US tour in support of her 2004 debut album, This Time Around. Working with producer Anthony J. Resta, the Broken and Paris EPs followed in 2009 and 2011 respectively, before her second full length record, The Parts of Us That Still Remain, finally hit last year.
Featuring ten tracks, the sophomore compilation begins by sailing into the light melody of “Sorry I Forgot to Write” upon a gentle acoustic riff that sets an emotional ambience. It’s an amiable and accessible opening number that’s full of feeling and fervour. “Running Back Home” follows by way of a touching instrumental introduction which prefaces a sad and silent harmony. Growing into an affecting chorus, it continuously rests easy on the ears and maintains a moving mood as it saunters solemnly forward.
The warm and reserved riff of “None of That Now” unfolds behind vocals that sooth on the approach to a poignant chorus. A steady increase in momentum as the piece progresses results in an acoustic ballad that’s both pleasant and meaningful. “Just Like a Movie” arrives afterwards as an airy, quixotic composition, fantasizing about life by using movies as metaphors. It’s a heartwarming and enthralling effort which ends up being as thoughtful as it is fun.
“Run Run Run” comes as a stirring and spirited entry with some wonderfully reflective and forthright lyrics, as well as a relaxed but purposeful rhythm. It’s succeeded by “Paris”, which proves to be another hushed yet haunting offering whose content is admirably honest and contemplative. “Something That Simple” takes over next to exhibit an intriguing blend of innocuous pop melodies and sombre retro musical motifs that make for a very stirring listen.
“Goodbye” adopts a fast and infectious beat, trucking through enthusiastic vocals and quickly captivating as things progress. Once it’s done, a bracing electric riff excites ahead of a restrained verse and mellow chorus during “Broken”, which eventually builds back up for an affective ending. “Lost in LA” takes over then to serve as a suitably sincere swan song.
This is a very tranquil folk/pop collection that’s made all the more arresting by its candid nature. Its earnest and introspective attitude means that it’s delightfully deep and hard hitting, despite its serene sound. Look out for Michelle Lewis on tour in Ireland and the UK between June 22nd and July 5th. All of the details are available on her official site. But in the meantime, you can experience The Parts of Us That Still Remain for yourself via iTunes now.
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