Kendra Muecke isn’t a musician alone. She is a published author, singer/songwriter, and actress who has embraced folk/Americana to great effect as a vehicle for her songwriting. She has carved out a niche in the modern scene thanks to the unique qualities of her lyricism. There are inclinations towards the spiritual, language elevated just above the conversational, and a musicality present in its line by line construction. Muecke definitely has a well honed instinct for shaping lyrical content to the musical arrangement in the most effecti8ve way. Her penchant for invoking significant detail as a writer while still allowing listeners interpretative free rein is in evidence here and the track ranks among her finest musical efforts yet.
The guitar playing has a lightly disjointed quality but it never mars the listening experience. These instances are never particularly jarring and the definite breaks between disparate sections of the composition actually accentuate the song’s raw emotional thrust. She has a varied approach to her instrument; sometimes you can hear her attacking the strings with high-impact strumming while, at other moments, laying back and coaxing music from her six string. Muecke understands dynamics and how to manipulate them to maximum effect.
The track has a length of almost five minutes and, despite it consisting of nothing but Muecke’s guitar playing and vocals, never tests listeners’ patience. Her unbridled emotion throughout the performance focuses the meandering vocal melody and you can’t help but follow the rising and falling emotional intensity fueling her voice. She is not the most polished guitar player, but even sticklers for accuracy will likely find themselves forgiving her lapses. The individuality of this track sets it apart from a lot of songwriting and music today.
“Gust & Dissolve” benefits, as well, from spot on production. Though any producer does not have a lot to capture here, just a vocal and guitar, but the balance between these elements is ideal and the immediacy of the recording will appeal to many listeners. She only has a few past releases to her credit as a songwriter and musician, but Kendra Muecke’s talents in this vein have expanded exponentially and she emerges from this song as a finished product who has yet to hit her peak. It is safe to say that, when she does reach the pinnacle of her powers, the effect will be transformative.
Let’s hope she perseveres and reaches that day soon. We need songwriters like Kendra Muecke – writers who aren’t content to accept the standard formula for popular song and, instead, push the boundaries of the form into new areas of expression. They are reminders of possibility rather than affirmers of the status quo. Kendra & the Bunnies’ “Gust & Dissolve” is taken from her latest full length release of Vinyl and, if it is representative of the album’s overall quality, heralds a five star effort from this major talent. This is songwriting imbued with the true sparkle of poetry and built to last for many years to come.
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