With new singer/songwriters a dime a dozen, running endlessly down
hillsides towards us with eyes flashing and guns blazing, it's sometimes
hard not to be overwhelmed by their sheer numbers and even harder to
make enough time to separate the wheat from the chaff. I'm more than
happy, however, to continue to make time for Kina Grannis. Her 2010
debut 'Stairwells' was a labour of love and I found myself loving it more
than a little bit too. With her second outing 'Elements' I can find no good
reason to abandon her. It really is a very beautiful piece of work indeed.
Ms Grannis has broadened her sonic palette to some degree; the arrangements
have greater depth and complexity (Matt Hales has done a splendid job as
producer) but not at the expense of eclipsing the simple purity of her
gorgeous voice and ability to catch a good tune like a butterfly in a bell jar.
Jump straight to 'Winter' for a glimpse of this new maturity. It is a touching
invention embellished with harp and limpid vocal harmonies which would
melt even the coldest heart. So too 'Maryanne' which needs little more than
a gently rolling acoustic guitar accompaniment and some spare percussion
to weave a truly intoxicating musical spell; a marriage of power and economy.
Look no further than the mesmerising 'My Own', however, for a glimpse of the sublime.
'Elements' delivers many enchantments. Ms Grannis is truly running ahead of the pack.