Sometimes, you can hear an album that almost melts your heart. For a good while now, Beaumont's Ashlynn Ivy has been making the kind of music that reminds you of the past, without sounding antiquated. Her vocals come from an era where singers weren't using a computer to correct pitch, each note sounding earnest and direct. On her debut E.P.; Hearts For Breakfast, the Houston transplant not only draws you in with her powerful voice, but keeps you there with her songwriting.
In the release's opening track, "Sparrow Song." Ivy opens things up with a dreary guitar, minimal drums, and a soft synth before her vocals spread out like butter on a hot biscuit. The second song, "Good Woman," opens still with minimal drums and now with keys that sound like they're coming from deep space. When the song hits an uptick in speed, it doesn't take anything away from the strength of Ivy's voice, reminiscent of how the vocals of Lana Del Rey or Banks hit listeners for the first time. She continues this on the third track, "Happiest Girl in Tx," where her sound just hits like an old memory but this time with pop inflection, complete with horns and catchy backing vocal melodies.
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When it comes to the title track, "Hearts for Breakfast," Ivy delivers with a mix of piano based structure and brush stroked drums. While the following song, "Vultures" begins in a darker space, the song quickly picks up with an organ that will remind you of the sounds used in albums like Yellow Submarine and Vanilla Fudge. The instrumentation creates a kaleidoscope of happy go lucky pop.
The last song of the album, "Cropcircles" is the strongest of the six. Opening with an acoustic guitar and met with piano and stringed instruments, Ivy's voice fills with emotional heft. While the prose works well here, the true magic lies in the bridge of the song where Ivy's voice and the stringed instruments meet to delight the deepest parts of your soul.
In six songs Ahlynn Ivy creates a mix of the past, present, and future with her arrangements and instrumentation. She has created her own lane in a crowded marketplace full of manufactured pop. You can stream Hearts for Breakfast in all of the usual places, you can purchase it digitally through most web storefronts, or you can purchase one of the very limited vinyl copies directly from Bandcamp.