Eliza Mary Doyle can give you a taste of bluegrass that you’d have never accrued before. Her music has a country taste to it that has been aged like fine whiskey. If you’re not a fan of spirits, something about this music can make you drunk in love. She is back with an album after 7 years, and that’s quality time for the kind of aged spirit quality you’ll experience now. This is her album, Pretty Strange.
That album title is also a nice way of describing the past 3 years. Opening with 7 Dude Ranch, she gives you a good scoop of what her music might sound like. Her vocals have a unique tang to it, sweet and salty. The rhythm is a smooth, fine collection of notes. The flourishes and added notes create a powerful punch-something that belongs.
Acting Strange has a melancholy around the composition, though the lyrics are meditative. Eliza Mary Doyle describes the imagery with a lightness, which also details the emotional drive and tonality. Ain’t No Tellin’ creates the angelic bluegrass tone that you remember from all the scenes in movies and albums. The flavour of the banjo is truly felt, an instrument that can twist from joyous to sad in a snap. The technicality of the instrument looks complex, but Eliza employs it in the simplest of stories. Another Round is one such song where the quick tempo might rattle you, but the story is observational yet strife with learning.
Through different times
Fight the War is a subliminal power chant, with the genre powering the message. The layers create a background unlike another, the harmonics almost giving you goosebumps for the waves they make. I’ll always be in love with the simplicities of country music, yet the deep impact they leave, Red Dress creates that aura, with a narrative so simple, it seems unfair. It is the amount of specific scenarios that create this feeling. Runnin’ created this feeling too, however the shift in tempos creates a radical impact to what is felt and experienced. Eliza Mary Doyle is a powerful raconteur with a voice of gold.
Them Boys has a boisterous energy to it, and the tempo makes you want to dance. Her approach to music is rooted in cultural sensitivity, yet shifts through time to become immortal in a sense. Unfortunately depicts this perfectly-as a song and her ability as a songwriter. As she closes with a special version of Water into Wine, she has created a lake of sound that is rejuvenated by her abilities alone.
From a composer to a performer, she has created something that will continue as her powerful legacy. O Brother, Where Art Thou was the obvious movie that came to mind, but I’d like to create one with her own music and detailed characters to fall in place. You can listen to her 2016 album It Ain’t What It Seems for the contrast and progress in her tone since then. Follow her for more spectacular bluegrass music!