Scottish singer Kirsty Dewar contacted me recently to see if I would be interested in reviewing her new EP, and as one of my self-imposed rules is that I always review whatever I am offered by a band (as opposed to a label or PR company) I of course said yes. She told me that the best way to think of her music would be as a cross between Imagine Dragons, P!nk and Evanescence, which certainly had me intrigued. I don’t listen to much which I would describe as pop rock, but P!nk is someone I have a great deal of time for, and given that everyone in my family is a fan she is often a “go to” in the car. As far as I am concerned, when someone likens themselves to another artist as well known as that, they are opening themselves up for potential criticism, so what would I think of these six songs?
Produced by Gareth Young (Sam Ryder, Tom Meighan, Dani Minogue, Ronan Keating etc.), this EP is a wonderful sampler of material which has already got me looking forward to the debut album which should be out later this year. Highly commercial, Kirsty has one of those voices which in some ways seems clean and without too much breadth, but when the material opens up such as on the wonderful “Free Bird” (no, not that one), so does she. It starts with picked acoustic guitar, delicate and with gentle keyboards in the background with the rest of the band gradually coming in, and she allows herself to demonstrate restrained power, and I am sure this becomes quite a beast when it is performed live.
There is also something of Kelly Clarkson in her style, and “Influence” is another which clearly demonstrates her power, while the use of multi-part harmonies shows how she can take guidance in the studio, and the result is something which is very clever indeed and highly commercial. This never sounds like a relatively unknown performer on an early release, but instead is something which is going to appeal to music lovers of multiple styles, and I can certainly see Kirsty becoming very well known indeed. All six songs are quite different to each other, yet all contain hooks which keep the listener coming back for more, and anyone who enjoys pop rock performed by a real singer as opposed to yet another auto tuned creation would do well to seek this out.
8/10 by Kev Rowland