Eryn Allen Kane returns with the second part of her Aviary EP series.
This set of five tracks distinguishes itself from the first four in two important ways. The first is that the vocals performances are a lot gruffer, full of growl and power. The second is the chosen production styles, which have maintain the throwback feel of the first act but with a wider range in styles. The first two tracks have Kane bringing the Ray Charles fusion of gospel with more secular lyrics before transitioning into an almost operatically soulful track that has her using her smoky tone to evoke emotion, to a track that has a country feel, and taking us out with a little funk. Despite the differing tones of the tracks, there is a cohesiveness about the project that makes them all flow into each other while still being separate and distinct.
Her vocals are amazing as she manages to put her all into every track while not oversinging, making those moments when she begins to really belt out moments that make you sit up and take notice. Her lyrics are pretty good, if not all that distinct at times, and get her points across well.
While it is hard to pick a favorite, we are drawn in by the visceral and beautiful How Many Times. Asking how many lives have to be sacrificed in the march toward something better, the song, which is light on lyrics, conveys a sense of world-weariness that is still unwilling to give up of the future despite the hard fight ahead. It will take you to church and bring you to tears.