Erin Ivey – Whisper of the Moon – an album of urban lullabies

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Erin Ivey’s collaboration with the Tosca String Quartet in Whisper of the Moon marks another breakout album for her within the past two years to add to her growing repertoire of powerful, urban folk pieces. Following her 2013 Dreamy Weather, Erin’s music and lyrics this time around are a little less “eerie,” but, if possible, even more “magical.” Her clear and delicate voice does so well in front of the string quartet that this album finally, and fully, embodies all of her potential and talent.

The album revolves around the theme of solace in that safe place of childhood and innocence. She uses nursery rhymes and poetic lullabies to tell her stories of love, fear, and other feelings we are riddled with during adolescence and adulthood. Her light (but nonetheless powerful) voice works seamlessly with this idea of seeing things from a child’s point of view, and her songs are filled with magical dream-like movements. In “Oh, Light” she personifies ‘light’ and asks it “what will my fantasies become?” and “where shall I go when you are gone?” She then goes on to address “time” and “lord,” maintaining the innocent curiosity of a child.

“Almanac” paints such a dreamy, earnest image of uncertainty in love. The video showcases Ivey’s personality – the perfect mixture of sexy, poised and tranquil – and her ability to work off of the Tosca String Quartet so effortlessly. Seeing her feel each lyric (“pull the blanket tighter around my tired hopes that the next footsteps will be yours”) is such a treat, as she is such a visceral and moving performer.

The title track, “Whisper of the Moon,” sounds like an urban lullaby, fitting for both rocking a baby to sleep and looking out a frosty window, reflecting on your day. Its sweet and calming lyrics hold sentiments such as “one small prayer on one small night can change the course of any life” and “three small wishes of your own to dream about and guide you home.” She has an uncanny way of transporting you back to your own innocence and curiosity of the world, the moon, love, God, and time. She balances the themes of adolescence and adulthood well, with switching points of view to be the giver of comfort and guidance in tracks such as “Little Star” and “Rest Your Head.” It fully brings together this collection of modern lullabies.

With her new ‘do (a darker, bolder pixie cut) and a sense of adventure that has accompanied this album, Ivey is on to finding such a strong sense of self in her music. I am thrilled to see her and Tosca String Quartet this Thursday, February 13th at 8pm at The Belmont for the CD Release Party and debut of Whisper of the Moon to the world.

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– Bailey Cool