VÉRITÉ is the sobriquet of the Brooklyn songbird, Kelsey Byrne. After the successful release of her SentimentEP last year, Byrne has graced the music world with her neo-noir pop sound once again with her latest EP, Living. Byrne’s intrepid vocals take a front seat in this sensuous EP, as she croons out an emotive anthology of the undertakings of growing into the world of adulthood, and the treachery of becoming a hardened woman as a result of it.
Living opens with “Underdressed,” a transparent gospel of how emotionally tiresome undetermined relationships can be. Over the silent hum of an organ and divine background vocal intonations, Byrne’s intrepid voice gleams through a sultry haze of enticement, recanting memories of adventurous rooftop soirees with an evanescent lover. The track moves along against the cadence of a scampering synthpad, rising and falling in sync with Byrne’s valiant croons. In a silent moment of repose, Byrne beseeches to her lover her inmost desire for them to stay in a refrain that solidifies her pining; a request so succinct in expression, but heavy in commitment. The astonishing weight of her simplicity reverberates through the rest of the song, an unassailable reminder of the verity in her candor.
Byrne’s musings continue down an emotive road with the song, “Constant Crush.” The track eases in as a surreptitious battle between the hopeful desires that one has of a potential lover, and the reality of looking at them through rose-tinted glasses. Spasmodic percussion taps coalesce with the ominous reverb of a bass chord, a hum against Byrne’s gossamer vocals. The track explores a facet of the misgivings of being a young adult in today’s world: hoping for idealistic fantasies of the next lover we meet to be a glistening paradigm, but dealing with realities that not all that glimmers is gold.
“Gesture” shows Byrne in her rawest form, stripped away of the noir pop sound that was so resonant in the first half of her EP. Accompanied by the low drawl of a guitar, she recites an avowal of the impenetrable outfit women have suited themselves up with today: they are not delicate flowers who thrive from the indulgences of admirers who pick them, but alluring parts of nature that can tend to their own growth and needs.
The full result of Living puts Byrne’s vocal ability at center stage, displaying the flexibility of her vocals in each song. Her gritty poetics combined with the neo-noir pop sound that drifts through her tracks culminate into a vivid canvas of the undertakings of navigating the maze of adulthood.