Tristan Prettyman - Hello
Record Label: Virgin Records
Release Date: April 15, 2008
Tristan Prettyman shows herself to have one of the most creative voices in country-soul music on her latest release Hello, the follow up to her debut album Twentythree. Similar to K.T. Tunstall and G. Love, Prettyman uses the pliability inherent in the smoky textures of her vocals to put specially designed accents and punctuations on the presentation of her melodies, thus making her personality shines through in the songs. Produced by Martin Terefe (K.T. Tunstall, Ben’s Brother), and Sacha Skarbek (James Blunt), Hello is a greatly needed shot of country-soul and porch-folk in global music markets. It’s the kind of stuff that feels good, making contact with your sensory nerves.
The tunes are melodically smooth even when segments of rock vamps in like on “California Girl” with the repetitive verse, “Never gonna fall, I’m never gonna fall for that old trick again,” which really gets you into the groove as the twangy guitars ride in and around the verses. Tracks like “Handshake” and “Hello” bake catchy handclapping beatnik melodies that will have you singing them on your way to work or school. Others like “Madly” and “You’ve Got Me” are for those intimate moments with the one you love. They will put you deeper in the mood. The cozy country melodies of “Blindfold” and “Don’t Work Yourself Up” are snuggly soft with glockenspiel-pitched chimes pouring down on “Don’t Work Yourself Up.” The languid bluesy textures of “Just a Little Bit” move into expansive soul-flourishing choruses that really wake up this tune. Prettyman experiences a soulful Alicia Keys moment on the piano ballad “In Bloom” with breezes of strings feathering around her vocals like an angel’s cloak.
Prettyman offers more than country embossed porch-folk tunes on her latest release Hello, although whatever it is that she plays, it comes out good. Her acoustics are a fusion of blues, country, folk, alternative, pop, and rock. She knows how she wants her songs to sound just by the way her vocals move with the grooves, and she doesn’t let the rules imposed on country and folk dictate what her songs should be. She composes melodies free of those infringements. For now, Tristan Prettyman is a rare singer/songwriter/acoustic guitarist who gives others the inspiration to sing with her and the impetus to enjoy life.