Record #433: Bailey William and the Cherranes – Emerson (2015)


Let me tell you a little bit about my friend Bailey Williams.

The first time we met, she was just 16. She was opening for a punk show, armed only with an acoustic guitar. She scraped the strings and wailed with the abandon that for a moment I felt like I took a trip to 1960s Greenwich Village.

She was a force of nature, and it was immediately apparent. It didn’t take long for her to enlist a band behind her. But there was some talk amongst the local scene that perhaps her storm would be tempered by the expansion in her soundscape—that it would tame her rawness to a more “palatable,” and lukewarm sound.

But then, they dropped Emerson.

Any worries that Bailey’s edges would be dulled by introducing more instruments are completely assuaged. This album is a storm of Moogs, electric guitars, and keyboards. And in the eye of the storm is Bailey and her acoustic guitar, playing with just as much grit and fire as she ever did.

Which isn’t to mean that this is an angry album. By no means. This is an album filled with great pop tunes and love songs. But there is a chaos to those songs that creates a consistently engaging and powerful listening experience.

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