“I feel dead inside/help me come alive”
As soon as I heard those lyrics, the melodious harp, the sweet guitar strum, the violins – the whole world around me – just faded away. There was an angel in my headphones and for 5 minutes and 14 seconds that angel was my whole reality – simply, indescribably, intensely beautiful.
The angel is Kristy Chmura,. The song is “Leigh” from her new album Where the Light Gets In.
Kristy is a classical trained harpist from New Jersey with a deep talent for soothing, sweet-dream melody, soaring hypnotic vocals, and heart-wrenching intimate lyrics. Her 2018 album Stained-Glass Heart signaled an extraordinary talent that wielded her classical harp and inner-space lyrics as subtle scalpels to slice herself open and spill her heartbreak, her pain , her joy, her life into our ears – making it ours. Now, with Where the Light Gets In she has retained and transcended the magic of Stained Glass Heart.
Where the Light Gets In opens with“Leigh”and moves you to “Lie Awake”, a shift in tone and tune, immersed in nostalgia for times gone by and times to come and leave. A mysterious kick drum casts a deep, but not ponderous, rhythm, setting off her ethereal, angelic voice with a touch of longing.
“Come Home” beckons you, begs you to return, whoever you are in her past, in your past. Her memories are yours and you are immersed in them like an ocean as the harp and violin carries you to shore in a gentle tidal wave. The strumming harp accented with a soft snare and guitar is irresistible. Piling feeling on feeling as the music builds and her voice rises, she leaves you breathless – but not quite home.
“Only Love” tells you that she is here for you and for herself, like a lifelong partner whose has awoken in the early morning and gazed at your sleeping face. “Only love can let us see” she croons to herself as if she is holding her knees to her chest, rocking back and forth in happiness – in dream of pure, immersive love. And you know it is true.
The EP ends asking you “where are you going with my soul?”, with throbbing, drum-driven, muscle-clenching anguished power in “Soul Revolution”. She starts gently, like a flower opening, but then the drums emerge and her voice is no longer the gentle angel but a silver-armored archangel standing on the edge of the world defying the waves, the storms, the dark powers we know are there but seldom glimpse. She sees them and brings to them to us, face to face, balancing the darkness and light. And leaves us exhausted, wrung out, dripping with sweat, with only enough strength left to hit the replay button.
Musicians on the album include:Kristy Chmura (vocals/harp/Hammond B3 organ/synth)Jimmy Gnecco (acoustic guitar/bgv/drums/percussion/synth/bass)Damien Musto (electric guitars/Hammond B3/synth/organ)Rich Mercurio(drums)Jack Daley(bass)Paul Ognissanti (cello)
The album is available on all platforms. Video on YouTube.
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