Universal Need – Alanna Cherote
by Aidan Roberts
When Alanna Cherote sings her very first notes on this her debut EP, what is immediately striking about this young singer is her startlingly deep voice – and a timbre that suggests a natural ageing process has applied to her performance from a very early age. The four songs showcased here are relaxed, poppy country things, harbouring distinct echoes of the thick-lunged divas of her parent’s generation – Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Carly Simon. Also startling is the fancy, marginally invasive production – shimmering strings worm their way into the opener very quickly, and there seems to be a multitude of well-versed session players backing up Cherote’s earnest strummings. Her open, confessional lyrics ("I see the world but I don’t relate to it") lift her songs slightly out of the realm of easy classic hits. She is blessed with cedar-toned vocal chords and sparkling good looks, but though these songs are nice enough, there is definitely room for a more dynamic and engaging full length album, which may be very soon down the track.