Debut EPs rarely come as accomplished as The Curse, with the three heavily road-tested tracks revealing Izzie Walsh as a crafter of timeless country-tinged songs that belie her tender years.
The voice is the first thing that floors you; from the sweetest whisper to the coarsest growl, Izzie draws you in and makes certain that you are hanging on every word and taking it as gospel. The emotion conveyed in each syllable is meticulous, with her varied phrasing keeping you hooked throughout.
The title track showcases this from the off, and steadily gains momentum through variety and vigour to create an enduring opus which sparks with intensity as well as musical maturity, setting the scene for the whole EP.
The lyrics of Izzie Walsh recall enduring folk tales of old – not least in Not Today, which serves to remind that we stand to reap what we sow through the ever-present threat of fate (‘destiny is calling/ she says she wants to talk/ she’s not very happy/ not happy with you at all’).
The band propel the songs through a country backdrop, with the banjo and double bass rooting the sound firmly in the deep American south. However, the songs here could find a place in many genres, given the strength of the writing.
Closing track Lie To Me in particular is a brilliantly-crafted song which brings together the classic elements of a hushed verse building to a big, catchy chorus, but introduces some clever dynamic shifts to stop it becoming too formulaic.
In all, this EP works to show the immense promise of a gifted songwriter with a voice loaded with charisma and conviction.
Release date: April 14