Emme Ryan embraces a casual soothing spirit on the expansive folk pop of “Roots”. Done with such dignity the interplay of the band celebrates a sense of community. Lyrics offer a confessional quality to them for every verse is sung straight from the heart. With a great emphasis on the word choice there is a lived-in quality to the cadence. Besides folk, elements of classical, dream pop, and rock enter into the fray. Yet the restrained, stately grace remains prominent throughout. Best listened to as a singular whole there is a cohesiveness to the way each song plays off the last.
The references abound throughout the entirety of the collection. Notes of Vashti Bunyan’s work appears. Similar softness dominates much of the experience for she keeps things loose yet possessing such depth behind them. Beyond this there is a bit of a revivalist strategy to it, going for the charm of Fleet Foxes. Upon the whole of the group swinging into view the songs conjure up imagery of vast, wide-open spaces. Her dreamy hues at times bring to mind Weyes Blood’s careful, bluesy country cadence.
Delicate to its core “Loose Change” has a conversational tact to it. The song has a low-key spirit, with a slow-moving gait of rhythm. Buildup here stuns for the patient persistent approach adds to its hypnotic trance. Briskly rolling on by “Sparks” features a tremendous amount of sunshine behind it. A pastoral beauty the warm guitar work feels welcoming, as does the sweet vocals. Backup vocalists only add to this celebration of togetherness. Full of happiness “Sparks” proves to be the highlight of the collection. Rather fragile there is a kindness that washes over the listener with “Hometown Colors”. Here she has a stinging indictment of what fakeness means, of how someone can adopt a false persona in order to get ahead in life. Her lyrics about mining one’s roots and losing touch with the origin story after years of success helps to show what that disconnect does to a person. Layer upon layer gets brought into the mix on the quiet celebration of “Carried Away”. From the hit of the drums to the strum of the guitar, there is a leisurely aspect to it. Bringing things to a close is the pretty finale of “Back To My Roots” which has a cyclical yearning to it.
Full of such love and compassion, Emme Ryan delivers a heart-warming thoughtful work with “Roots”.