EP Review: Aimée – Hotham Park House Demos

Aimee-McKenzieAimée has become a fan favourite down Folking Live over the last year and with good reason.  Her bubbly music combines with her earnest, tender vocals to bring you one of the best contemporary folk acts on the circuit.

While she’s had a few singles available for download on iTunes in recently years we have finally managed to get our hands on a copy of her debut EP, the Hotham Park House Demos.  As you can expect from an EP it’s never quite long enough when you have an artist of this caliber but it’s a wonderful representation of what you can expect to come and more importantly, what you can expect to see at one of her live shows.

With such a wide variety of songs, it’s clear that Aimée has put a lot of effort into choosing her track list.  Each song is a clear fan favourite from our experiences of seeing her on stage.  It opens up with The Argument; a dramatic, quick and plucky folk song with impeccable fiddle playing from her younger sister Freya and quickly progresses through a set list that includes the gentle acoustic lullaby The Silence and into the bouncing tumultuous song that is Counting Sheep.  Counting Sheep backs up Aimée’s stunning vocals with a rousing fiddle tune, mirthful guitar and the eager beats of Ross on cajon.  The best song is left for last however, closing the EP with The Real Question – a surprisingly upbeat tale about the melancholia of having to grow up.  It’s an astonishing song as it carefully walks a tender line of something fragile and lost yet without any sense of cloying sentiment.  It’s simply a beautiful and passionate song with an addictively catchy tune and incredibly memorable lyrics.

Aimée isn’t just an incredibly talented musician however, she also shines through her lyrics which are consistently touching and evoke a sense of something both lost and gained.  Her topics are easy to identify with and she doesn’t shy away from anything when she writes.  Her lyrics and her music both compliment her vocals perfectly – she sings with a smooth, honey-dew melodic voice that compels the listener.  It’s a gentle but commanding voice capable of such a range that it allows her music to constantly adapt as you listen.  It is the final touch on an already incredible EP that really separates her from the crowd on the contemporary folk circuit right now.

After waiting what feels like an eternity for this EP to arrive we’re pleased to say the wait was worth it.  It’s a prime example of everything we have come to know and love about Aimée and easily worth the £5 cost.  Now the wait begins for a full-length album…

For more information on Aimée, check out her website here:

http://www.aimeemackenzie.co.uk/

Review by Joe Knipe