An artist who can plumb the depths of sadness in a single note, then release it in the very next breath, Chastity Brown melds folk, pop, soul and gospel on Silhouette of Sirens, weaving together a poet’s lyrical ear and a raw soul-laid-bare quality. The album’s 10 original tracks introduce us to an exciting new voice — a songwriter of power and conviction who isn’t afraid to bare her heart as she sings of heartbreak, need and love.
With an electrifying voice that thrums with emotion, she creates moods by layering her sprawling melodies over pulsing rhythms and soaring choruses. Raised in Tennessee, she now calls Minnesota home. As a bi-racial woman she writes from the cultural experience and perspective of “being just as much one thing as the other … the feeling of being within, yet apart.” From the first track, the gorgeous slow build of “Drive Slow,” you’re arrested by the raw ache of Brown’s voice, which breaks with feeling as she sings, “all my life, I was afraid of everything.” “Wake Up,” the first single, is a beat-heavy, minor key tune of longing where she sings, “Wake up honey, love — come on soon.” “Carried Away,” propelled by her driving acoustic guitar, finds her singing “look what you did to my heart” before the chorus, “you get carried away, then you fall.” On the album’s starkly beautiful centerpiece, the piano and strings-driven “My Stone,” she pleads, “Don’t leave me here all alone / For so long you’ve been my light in the dark,” while on the sexy, Prince-channeling acoustic funk jam, “Whisper,” she beckons the listener to come closer, to dance with her in the dark, to “whisper in my ear all that you need.” Straddling worlds and musical genres, Brown’s emotionally charged songs are unforgettable and transforming.