The six tracks on display here on this debut EP show Alanna Eileen‘s intelligent songwriting and grasp of minimalism, over which her hynotising vocal flourishes.
There is an undeniable Nick Drake influence evident throughout, with all of Eileen’s stories weaved over a guitar stlye reminiscent of the folk legend. The sparse instrumentation used throughout the recording is most impressive as this is not the kind of music that benefits from excessive overdubs.
On ‘Reliquary‘ and ‘Absence Tonight‘, a tenderly picked acoustic guitar and attention commanding vocal are almost all that is required, however the subtle accompaniments of sparse backing vocals and the tiniest hint of drums are just enough to make a difference.
The haunting application of piano to ‘Clear‘ and ‘The Mirror And The Mime‘ (“I am just an imitator like the mirror and the mime”) highlight another string to Eileen’s bow.
The pinnacle of the EP is ‘First Curse‘ (” I am the seed scrabbling in the dirt, for what I used to be, pressing on the hurt of my first curse”), which best exemplifies an almost medieval aura that runs throughout the duration of the recording. With a history of dabbling in poetry this is evidence of Eileen successfully applying it to her music.
‘Absence‘ is stripped back, heartfelt and engaging. Headphone listening will reveal there is more than initially meets the ear. Currently touring this release, it will be nice to see how these songs unfold in appropriately intimate environments.