Singing from out of Seattle, heartfelt bard Abby K is gracefully skillful in Heart Shaped Rock. The LP is a low energy rocker that is genuine in its songwriting and performance. Despite its tame energy, this is not an album that is safe or too comfortable. Mixing together western and folksy sounds, Abby K infuses enough of her self into this record that makes Heart Shaped Rock an exciting endeavour.
The album opens with eponymously named track “Heart Shaped Rock” is a wonderfully crafted cut that is sublime. Abby K’s voice melts sweetly with the guitar melodies, swirling into something cottony and light.
“Silhouette Blues” has an ethereal feel to it, giving off the feel of a cool summer’s day and a tall glass of lemonade. It’s a nice soft prelude to “My Perfect Situation,” the surprisingly vicious clarinet-driven cut with an unexpected dancibility. With its upbeat and fiery energy standing out from the rest of the album’s more tame tracks, “My Perfect Situation” will be a fan favourite.
“I Don’t Know” on track 6 has a surprising flair that sound as if it was pulled straight out of an epic cowboy flick. Another track with an upbeat drumbeat and tambourine that rattles viciously throughout the choruses, fans are going to love this song’s fiery energy. We love how readily Abby K switches from a acoustic folk crooner to a sinister musical narrator with the flip of a track.
Track 7’s “My Alki” has a more conventional feel to it, with the guitar work sounding like a sunny Smashing Pumpkin track. The performance here is radiant, delivering yet another warm track on the album.
“You’re My Moon” might be the poppiest, radio-ready track of the album. This one has a contagious energy, complete with a catchy hook and a joyful drumbeat. It’s an energetic prelude to “Pauline,” a cool and breezy track that feels like it was taken from a Carpenters’ album. “Pauline” is a sweet cut that shows off Abby K’s sugary vocals, with her falsetto blissfully singing on the chorus. Fans are going to fall in love with the airy feel of this love song.
The album then ends on a cinematic and orchestral note with “You Never Know,” a wonderfully composed cut that sounds like the ending theme for a fairy tale movie. The charm of this album reaches its heights with this track, showing off Abby K’s diverse performance and technical skills.
The production on Heart Shaped Rock isn’t at the standards you would expect for a modern day album, however, that may be the charm of this album. The 80’s-style, slightly dated sound quality gives the album a retro charm. It’s a flaw by design that makes Heart Shaped Rock that much more of a well-made album.
Abby K delivers a treasure with Heart Shaped Rock. A diverse array of sounds blended together in some memorable western and folk-style tracks creates a record that stands high and proud on its own.
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