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Kelsey Shields – Tidewater [EP]
April 2010

Some time ago I received a message on Myspace from this young singer, Kelsey Shields, if I would want to take the time to listen to her music. SoI did, and the music sounded quite pleasant. So I decided to keep my eyes and ears open in case I’d hear more from her.

Recently she released her new EP “Tidewater”. The mix of folk, indie pop and americana is pretty nice and Shields starts out pretty strong with Big Dipper and Burning Home. Musically the songs aren’t too challenging but they are good listening music and on these songs this young singer’s soothing vocals work with the kind of music she makes.

Sadly, as the EP continues the musical execution gets a little sloppier and at times Shields’ vocal control isn’t her strongest asset. While it isn’t always 100% sound musically, I still find myself liking this artist. This EP won’t bring her tons of success or fame, it won’t facilitate Shields’ breakthrough, but the EP seems to be a reflection of a learning point in her career.

It’s hard to say what exactly it is that I connect to in Kelsey Shields’ music but I can’t deny there is something. I imagine, though, it would be a good development for her to find some songwriting partners to be able to bring more depth and creativity to her songwriting (especially in the musical arrangements). And as she gets older and becomes a more experienced artist I can see Shields making rapid improvements. For now she delivers a nice home-recorded EP, and while Burning Home is a very decent song, there is still a long way to go.

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