Friday, June 24, 2011

Edens Edge, "Amen"

Songwriters:  Hannah Blaylock, Catt Gravitt, Gerald O'Brien, Skip Black

"Amen" is the debut single from new Big Machine signees Edens Edge, composed of Arkansas natives Hannah Blaylock (lead vocals), Dean Berner (vocals, guitar, dobro), and Cherill Green (vocals, mandolin, banjo, guitar).  It just might be one of the most effortlessly likeable debut singles we've heard this year.

The lyrical concept is simple, yet different from the many trite and hackneyed themes often favored by country radio.  "Amen" find the female narrator, along with the whole town, rejoicing as a young man finally calls it off with a woman who was no good for him to begin with.  Hannah Blaylock's vocal shows fine interpretive abilities, not resorting to any unnecessary vocal theatrics.  Her voice posesses a distinct texture and natural beauty that makes it both instantly recognizable and exceedingly pleasant to hear.  The production is light and simple, yet the sweet sounds of Dean's dobro and Cherill's mandolin are subtly infectious.  The lyrical story stands front and center with no unnecessary distractions.  Nothing about the record sounds like it was unduly fussed over, and it all flows with a natural ease.

How refreshing it is to hear such an enjoyable display of originality and talent at such an early stage in a career!  It's only their first single, but "Amen" goes a long way toward establishing a distinct artistic identity for Edens Edge.  In a radio landscape that could hardly be more slick and predictable, a new act like Edens Edge is a real breath of fresh air.

The single was released a few months ago, and has made inroads into the Top 40 on the country singles chart.  Here's hoping that country radio proves to be fully on board with this talented new trio.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)