Lyndol Descant's singing blends so achingly well with her piano that she's almost like a one-woman duo. They're both instruments, her voice and her keyboard. When they're locked into each other, which happens often on her new album Reach Up, it is remarkably powerful. From beginning to end, Reach Up is an experience of sound and feeling. Descant isn't restrained by stylistic boundaries, either. Her compositions reach into pop, jazz fusion, and alternative sounds, their elements mixing together in complete harmony.
"One Night Stand" is among the LP's most compelling tracks. Descant's sultry vocals soothe the ears like silk while the jumpy percussion provides the song with a modern, edgy jolt. It has an electronic undertow that recalls David Gray's finest moments. Descant's lovely keyboards are relaxed at first but then builds to an invigorating groove somehow recalling the Norwegian band Fra Lippo Lippi.
On "Sweet Spoiled Girl," there is an underlying darkness that is truly mesmerizing. Descant's piano is playful yet somewhat sinister at their core, like a score from a Tim Burton film. The indie-pop influence is evident and Descant echoes the intensity of Tori Amos in her prime. The broken heart of "Stay Away" is reflected in Descant's hauntingly sad vocal work. This is a gripping album.