Published Jan 30, 2019Emily King is a known entity in the music scene — she signed her first major record deal way back in 2004 — but superstar success has eluded her. Some notable singles here and there — 2015's album and title track Switch most recently — but with Scenery, she makes a statement.
Scenery reflects a decision to leave her NYC hometown for the rich greenery and wildlife of the Catskills. The move was a scary one for the self-described non-risk-taker, but one she felt necessary to grow both as person and artist.
Opening track "Remind Me" mines her trademark sound — notes of R&B and pop — to grand effect. "Teach You" shifts to a jazzy pop mood, playful and tender at once; South Asian percussive sounds underscore "Can't Hold Me"; the acoustic jazz of "Caliche" is a mindful meditation on love; "2nd Guess" gives off an '80s pop groove and the gospel-inspired ballad of "Running" is both reflective in its ruminations of self-determination.
King's whisper smooth vocals are welcoming and ensure the 12-track project holds together. Scenery comes ever-so-close to its intended level of sublime, yet plays things on the safe side: pleasant, powerful, precise. It waves over listening with its earnestness — soothing the consciousness rather than expanding it. It's a clear articulation of King's mastery and intent; Scenery is musically sound, entrancing and implores that you take a look. (ATO Records)