EMILY JEAN FLACK
Throwing Shapes [EP]
(2019 - Cranberry Music Inc - Canada)
A lilting masterpiece of a premier 5 song EP by Canadian born singer/composer/percussive dancer Emily Jean Flack, that you will not be able to put out of your mind. Just over 22 minutes, in 5 songs, her debut release 'Throwing Shapes' gathers together fanciful music with thick atmosphere from a diversified and wealth of styles and talent, including world music, pop, folk, and soft ballad. Her voice is pure and constant in expression, as well as vigor. The first cut 'Another Year Gone By' reminds me of the powerful British ballad singer Judie Tzuke (in her early years), and in fact Flack has all those same wonderful qualities. Although she notes inspirations like James Taylor, Adele, Alison Krauss, and Keith Urban, the genre best represented is progressive folk.
Her band is also top notch, bringing notable musicians from the Irish Celtic scene like Brian Finnegan (from Flook- on whistles and flute), Pete Wallace (acoustic and electric guitar, percussion, programming, vocals), Carl Harvey (electric bass), Matt Weir (drums, percussion), Marty Barry (acoustic guitar), James Nash (electric and acoustic guitar), Colm McClean (electric guitar), John McCullough (Hammond organ, keyboards), Conor McCreanor (upright bass), Pete McCauley (piano), Niall McBride (fiddle), and Sean O'Kane (accordion). The musicians play with utmost taste and perfection on the songs. Expert production by Pete Wallace, and mixed by the famous David Bottrill (Peter Gabriel, Eddi Reader, and much more).
She moved to Ireland as a teen and grew up there, furthered her music education, and recorded this EP in that country. Some may be interested to know that Emily is the daughter of Denise Flack of the band Leahy, which Emily did backup singing and dance with in her youth. It will surprise anyone who has only heard the title cut 'Throwing Shapes' (track 5) with its full on Celtic dance infusion, when the other songs on the EP are such beautifully soaked ballads, that can bring tears to your eyes. Certainly a prized release to wet your appetite and calm any troubles in your life. A florid breath of fresh air. Flack is working on a full length so that will surely be something to keep watch for. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 4 - 27 - 2019