Beginning to perform around Portsmouth in late 2011, singer/songwriter Yvonne McDonnell kicked off her musical career while still a student. Having since relocated to London, she continues to share her enchanting array of acoustic folk with the masses through live appearances across the city. October 2014 saw the release of her Endless Soul EP; a collection of six stirring tracks brought to life through some wonderfully heartfelt performances.
“I Didn’t Know” sails into striking vocals with a light acoustic riff. Its pleasant melody brings with it a happy, airy vibe. There’s an intimacy that endows it with a sense of beauty and makes it very easy on the ears. This continues into “Endless Soul”, which is more melancholy musically but boasts vocal work that is just as radiant. The mellow beat comes with a direness that almost seems to lighten at times, while a nice instrumental session later on allows McDonnell to show off her guitar skills.
“Would You Do It Again” is slightly more sanguine, featuring buoyant acoustics and drums. Once again though, the vocals steal the show through their pensive refrain. “Time” follows on with lively instrumentation keeping it persistent from start to finish. The guitar work is more complicated which, coupled with an optimistic sounding build up and melody, gives it a grander feel.
A slow burning riff and harmony unfold throughout “Stay With Me”. These develop a somber aura rich with emotion and yearning. The vocals resonate and linger, lending an extraordinary warmth to the track. “And You Sin” drifts out of this with a hushed but fast introduction alongside soft vocals that remain resonant. The pace is swift despite the solemn, reserved tone. Bringing an incredibly moving finale to the EP, it also possesses perhaps the most splendid vocal work on the compilation.
Yvonne McDonnell has crafted six magnificently poignant pieces of art here. The rousing nature of each song’s arrangement and the astounding vocal work make for a product that is quite inspirational in its entirety. With its cool, accessible sound, Endless Soul is a superb acoustic folk production whose appeal should be universal.