Kristy Chmura – Where the Light Gets In
New Jersey’s deeply angelic voiced Kristy Chmura has a warm presentation & her voice suits the music perfectly. Almost as colorful & deep as Tanita Tikaram crossed with a little Sarah MacLauchlan & to my ears that’s quite a magical crossing. And the material is good – the lead-off track to this 21-minute EP is “Leigh,” & as good as it sounds it may be too sophisticated, too good for mainstream consumption. It’s so well produced, performed & constructed that I’m not entirely certain young people will appreciate such fine work. I could be wrong.
They talk about divas who hit high notes, hold notes & perform primarily in a showboating manner. But Kristy Chmura (vocals/harpist/Hammond B3 organ/synth) doesn’t have to provide such a performance. Though she could easily. The evidence is here. She can hit the notes & does — when it’s necessary & only when it’s necessary. She has a cultured way of pronouncing the words, pacing her momentum for maximum drama & vocalese.
She’s musical but can define herself through a more progressive breadth – Oscar-nominated singer Bird York (“In the Deep”), Kate Bush & Jane Siberry. While not being quite “out there” as Bush & Siberry. But Ms. Chmura definitely has followed in the footsteps of York who isn’t as commercial as Adele & York was singing this way 4 years before Adele was born.
Produced by Jimmy Gnecco (acoustic guitar/bgv/drums/percussion/synth/bass) & Damien Musto (electric guitar/Hammond B3/synth/organ bass) the EP Where the Light Gets In (Drops Sept 2–Independent) is just one sparkling song after another.
Her “Come Home,” has sharp percussive layers & Kristy defines her style with adept arrangements & darkly-hued expressiveness. Just when I was impressed with “Come Home,” she begins “Only Love” which is exemplary. Breathy soaring vocals, a slow burn with cello serenity & heavenly harp. Warm lavender musical notes with clarity like a stream of water in a deep cave. Her music allows one’s imagination to run free.
Ah…but Kristy’s not done – “Souls Revolution,” is the conclusion & righteously so. With its more piercing approach & absorbing rock assertiveness, it’s full-bodied & stings a bit more. Kristy’s voice has a soulful impulse, seductive & the music that was in a deep cave before heads for a waterfall by the coda. Ms. Chmura is a soothing listen. No pomposity, nothing bombastic – smartly balanced. Are they sure this woman is from New Jersey?
There are only 5 songs – all are worth the price of admission. Musicians – Rich Mercurio (drums), Jack Daley (bass) & Paul Ognissanti (cello).
Photo courtesy of Maureen G. Nowak Photography. CD @ http://kristychmura.com/