If you’ve ever been to one of Eva Walsh‘s shows, watched her many Youtube videos, or just listened to some of her work, you know she is brimming with talent and great personality. Hailing from Minnesota, Walsh studied violin performance at Vanderbilt University (having studied classical violin since the age of five).
Eva Walsh’s debut album, Storybook, was released on November 5, and I was fortunate enough to attend the release party at the Middle East in Cambridge.
I’d heard some of the songs before, and thoroughly enjoyed the performance-there were some pleasant surprises there!-but I can happily say that I am currently sitting with a mug of local apple cider, and listening to Storybook in full.
The album starts with “Morning Glory”, which has actually been stuck in my head for the past few days. Though Walsh is classically trained, the album clearly shows how versatile she is when it comes to different genres of music, with this track carrying a very indie-pop hook, a definite ear worm.
The title track is just as catchy, and integrates beautiful tracks of strings, plus an unexpected breakdown in the midst of the song…but you’ll have to listen to see what I mean.
“Sweet Sweet Time” is a mellow confrontation to the anxieties and stresses of life and hectic schedules, a sort of song that makes you want to stop and let out a big, deep sigh.
“When You’re Gone” has a sweet waltz sound to it, a little heart-wrenching on the instrumentation, but then we bounce back up a little on “Back to Zero”. Though it’s also not quite uplifting in terms of the lyrics, the rhythm is great and I love the way Walsh’s voice sounds on this track. Another song there that gets that warm and fuzzy feeling is “Someday”. It’s a song that says “I’ll get you your prune juice and still love you when your face looks like the prune that the juice came from”…but in a much more eloquent and lyrical way.
“It’s Up To You” is just a gem. A gem, I tell you! It reminds me of some of the older songs like “A Fine Romance”, but with a little bite. The bass trombone just knocks the song out of the park.
I really enjoy the folksier sound on “Wheat Bread'”, and the album gets a little funky on “Fallin'”. It’s an interesting blend of funk with folk. I’m not sure I ever thought those two genres could come together, but Eva Walsh pulls it off.
The album wraps on “Hit and Run”, which leads in again with those beautiful strings. I may be a sucker for strings, but what can I say? When it’s done well, I can’t help but to love it. The dynamics of this track take the listener on a little bit of a ride, which is a nice finish to “Storybook”.
Overall, the album is solid. Again, Walsh has a knack for writing hooks and catchy songs. At the same time, the instrumentation is beautiful and well thought out. I can see these tracks being attractive to a wide audience and that is telling of the musicianship.
I foresee this album being greatly successful, and not just because of Walsh’s talent and presence. It’s tough to get noticed, even with that. But take a look at Walsh on social media sites-Facebook, Youtube, etc-and you will see how receptive people have been.
You can also check out Storybook on iTunes.