This Tampa native turned New York resident offers up her sophomore effort, this five song E.P., Living In My Head. Sultry voiced, sonically powerful and interesting with its wide spectrum, this isn’t some quickly thrown together release as a tide over – this effort took thought and planning to execute.
The opening track, “This River”, is an exercise of vocal skill and percussion – nothing more. You get the full weight of Ms. Shivers’ voice immediately and the way the song is arranged, it works. “Lily-Rose” is a piano-driven pop powerhouse with a dynamic quiet-loud-quiet progression – this is catchy, radio friendly and could easily be a hit. “Disco’s Dead” is a melding of U2, R.E.M. and a traditional Irish folk feel/vibe; “Names” may be the standout of the collection as it builds slowly and dramatically with a drum-envelope effect, then adding layers of guitar, violin over the basic piano and vocal. “Tell Me To Run” reminds me a bit of Tori Amos, except with less complexity and a much wider universal appeal.
In a word, this is very good – solid, sharp and memorable. Mackenzie Shivers is someone I suspect we will hear a great deal more about over time.
Living In My Head is available now