Small-town girl Stacy K's acoustic album a taste of good things to come
Stacy K is a new talent on the Minnesota music scene who has a brand new EP called "Little Glass Houses." Coming from the small southern Minnesota town of Sleepy Eye, Stacy has a disarmingly mature voice. She blends (like many good songwriters) a...
Stacy K is a new talent on the Minnesota music scene who has a brand new EP called "Little Glass Houses."
Coming from the small southern Minnesota town of Sleepy Eye, Stacy has a disarmingly mature voice. She blends (like many good songwriters) a keen eye for observation, elements of her own personal experience and a vivid imagination. It's never transparent how that division breaks down, but her expressive pipes keep your ear glued to the story line.
"Little Glass Houses" brims with vignettes about people and places that pull you in and make you want to stop and gawk. Some of the tales take left turns into alleys and side streets that you wouldn't expect coming from someone who is just 24 years old. But Stacy K, a vocal performance student in the Twin Cities, holds your attention and brings you, willingly, along for the ride.
"Mr. Blue" is a song about continuously going back to something, or someone, that you know isn't good for you. It's about the foolish choices we all make. "...The smell on your breath tastes like a warning, I should have known you'd run me down. The steel of your kiss is more like a warning, 'cause you taste so sweet like honey from the Smokey Mountains."
The places and elements that she references are always unexpected and a bit unusual, but that's part of the charm.
"We Got It" was written from a series of odd encounters and is really about enjoying the moment while you're in it. A late night phone call may have been the catalyst for what seems to be a song for new lovers and "old souls" as well.
The title track has a definite quirky Jill Solbule style to it. Its hypnotic mantra-like quality comes from its one-chord drone. The repetitive musical foundation helps to accentuate the lyric about small-town gossip. It's about talk "behind closed doors" and how many people wear masks to hide their secrets. "We all live in little glass houses with wandering eyes....they'll burn your mask, sweep it up and throw it in the trash."
I think ultimately it's a song about being who you are and being proud of it, but it's said in a nuanced way that gives it a sincerity and gracefulness.
Stacy had all the tools handed to her as a child: She started playing guitar and performing as early as the second grade. Her mother had a record collection that started her off with Bread and Fleetwood Mac, but by high school it was great vocalists such as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Joni Mitchell.
Journaling began as young as 12 or 13 and that discipline has paid off in canny and clever songwriting that is wise beyond her years. When something intrigues Stacy, she writes about it in journal and in song. In the latter, it's never cliché or repackaged. It's fresh and incisive.
Infatuation is the watchword in "The Feeling." This is a song that just captures the feel of a warm summer day complete with Beach Boys-like harmonies that add to the languid vibe.
An ominous slide guitar starts "Dirty Devil" and is about a week she spent with her sister and family on a lake. It's one of those part fantasy, part reality songs that brings us into the darker side of Ms. K.
Though her live performance already has moved past the acoustic sound of this EP (she's now got an electric band behind her), this McNally-Smith music student has got a good start on a recording career with "Little Glass Houses." With her eye for detail, good writing instincts and that expressive voice, there would appear to be many more good records down the line for Stacy K.