Album Review

New Amy Henderson album echoes Indigo Girls and Bonnie Raitt

Amy Henderson - May

Amy Henderson's May sounds like the month itself: warm but sometimes overcast. It is comfortable and pleasing, the final moments before the scorching heat takes over. The lonely ache of winter hasn't fully walked out the door yet; it haunts the sun like the nagging residue of a nightmare. This balancing act can be easily seen on the opening track, "Pure," which seeks spiritual renewal after a break-up. With her bittersweet singing, Henderson effortlessly reels in listeners to her personal narratives.

Henderson's style is a hybrid, uniting blues, country, and folk within a melodic pop framework. She recalls the classics such as Melissa Etheridge and Bonnie Raitt, but on "Daydreamin'" there are echoes of Courtney Barnett in her delivery. The songs are polished well, especially the breezy strumming of the acoustic guitars. Fans of the Indigo Girls will find much to appreciate here, that combination of honest songwriting and vocal charm. At times, too, Henderson captures the unplugged beauty of Heart.

Juggling sensitivity with swagger (best exemplified by "Everything But You"), Henderson is a welcome voice in the roots-rock field.