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Her Crooked Heart Her Crooked Heart
Album: To Gentlemen
Label: SoDak Records
Tracks: 4 (EP)

While you probably won't have heard of Her Crooked Heart (yet!), you may have heard of the artist behind the name. Having released her debut album under her own name back in 2005, Ries is not exactly a newcomer to the scene. She's a multi-instrumentalist, producer, hired gun, as well as a singer songwriter, and Her Crooked Heart represents a new start with a new name and new music.

To Gentlemen is the debut EP, recorded in Wisconsin as part of a larger recording session, and is described as a snapshot of the album yet to come. If this is a toe dipped into the waters to gauge the temperature, we have something to look forward to when the big splash comes. These songs are full of heart and eloquence, but with a rich vein of flippancy that runs throughout. There's a poetic quality to the lyrics, especially on the introspective but ultimately hopeful Loving You.

There are a variety of instruments backing Ries up, with trumpet, flugelhorn, sax, drums and bass on show. There's even an instrumental title track to finish the EP, with piano playing that wouldn't be out of place on an Einaudi CD.

It's an amuse-bouche of a CD; immaculately put together and presented, that leaves a wonderful taste in your mouth but leaves you wanting more. When it comes, the album should be very good indeed.

Adam Jenkins