By Alex Vissia
Scorpio 76 Records
In an age where singer-songwriter records can run the risk of sounding overdone to the point of soullessness, Amy van Keeken continues to thrive on her intuitive musicality with her latest offering of dreamy golden-hour pop, In Dreams. Recorded with co-producer/multi-instrumentalist Patrick Michalak, the nine-song collection is imbued with a warmth and simplicity that nods to the harmony-lush trademarks of 70s folk-rock without ever whispering the thought of “throwback” in your ear.
Van Keeken and Michalak chose not to dwell on a part or idea for longer than a handful of takes – an organic approach that serves the album well by centring the songs around van Keeken’s clear and sophisticated vocal style. Floating from sunshiny notes of joy (“Here Come Those Good Feelings” – “Happy in My Heart”) to moments of lamp-lit sorrow (“You’ve Gone Away”), the album moves through songs like rooms in the same well-loved home, inviting the listener in to sip coffee in the midmorning light of the kitchen window, bask in the glow of a good love, and take care of one’s heart so that we may take care of one another.
Whether stripped down to vocals and acoustic guitar (“This Morning”) or fleshed out with rhythm section, organ, and distorted Stratocaster (“Hide it Away” – “Come With Me”), it is van Keeken’s effortless delivery, instinctive melodic hooks, and ability to surrender to each song’s sonic desires that make In Dreams feel so timeless, as though you’ve somehow heard it before – maybe in a dream.Amy van Keeken, In Dreams, Record Review, Scorpio 76 Records