Ivy Mairi

Well You

BY Vish KhannaPublished Jan 28, 2008

With a devastatingly rich voice and "wise beyond her years” writing chops, Ivy Mairi is poised to break a lot of hearts with her music. Just out of her teens, Mairi was raised in a musical family on Toronto Island, where she eventually became enamoured with folk music. The songs on her Michael Timmins-produced debut showcase a powerful voice, whose force is bolstered by tasteful old-fashioned imagery about life and love, and a plaintive acoustic guitar with carefully arranged instrumental adornments. There are lovely melodies throughout: "Down” features a dramatic vocal take whose intensity increases from verse to verse and "I Watched You Reading” is teasingly sweet, with Mairi playing around with phrasing like an expert. While "This Quiet Heart” is cutesy and tender, Mairi’s interpretation of Clarence Ashley’s recording of "The Coo Coo Bird” — called "The Cuckoo” here — is fraught with pain and emotion. That old world of folk songs is a wonderful muse for Ivy Mairi and her amalgam of styles suits her voice perfectly on Well You.

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