Sentiment. Too much is never a good thing and yet a lack of it can render a song sterile but, fortunately, there is little that is sterile about the “To Gentlemen” EP from Her Crooked Heart.
Her Crooked Heart – an alias for the considerably smarter than average Rachel Ries – produces the kind of music that exudes quality. There is, as this is the today that lives in awe of the past, a hint of Americana to her sound yet she does not follow the path of dustbowl mediocrity that would no doubt bring her success on the roots festival circuit. She is, instead, more coffee shop than cowboy hat but, even bearing that in mind, she steers a curiously weaving course through frailties and Carly Simon whilst casting flowers of hope into the path of the unworthy. It’s a choice that exudes a certain sentimentality for the human condition and it’s a choice that serves her well.
For those who treasure conventionality but have no time for the mundane, your ears will be blessed by the eloquence and straight line emotions that underpin “Adrian and, especially, “Loving You”. Perfection is not the aim here and yet such an approach brings a greater reality than the polished sheen of illusion could ever do while, for those who treasure the quirky, there is also “Are You Good You Are” to tempo shift your emotions into a finger snapping purchase decision.
As a gentleman might say to a lady, I am very pleased to have met both you and your crooked heart.
The EP is available – on vinyl – from Bandcamp.