When it comes to writing about pop music, sometimes the easiest way to describe something is to relate it to something else that is popular. Easy enough, right? Well, yes, it is easy enough, but now I have pigeon-holed an artist to sound similar to a more popular artist in order to entice you to check out some new tunes. That doesn’t strike me as fair at all, but it is the easiest way out of a conversation. For this particular EP I’m going to ask you to keep Sara Bareilles and Zooey Deschanel in mind and not go much further than that.
This set of tunes comes from Vancouver, British Columbia instead of someplace in New Zealand. We should be happy that Shalini Kumar is pursuing her dream of recording music rather than becoming a successful accountant living on a farm on the opposite side of the world. I’ll never know how her number crunching skills are, so I’ll just have to tell you that she can sing very well.
I’ve stated before that I’m a sucker for well crafted pop songs, and this EP has five great examples. When a sad subject can make you tap your feet and bounce, you know someone is doing their job; which is why I like “Feeling Lonely”. Another interesting piece is how she incorporates other instrumentation into her music that reaches further than guitars and drums. Piano and string arrangements intertwine to help create a soothing backdrop, and you can hear the complexity grooving underneath the sweet vocals that want to whisk you someplace far away or take you somewhere dark and personal.
There are not a lot of songs on this EP, and my favorites are “Feeling Lonely”, “Freeze Up” and her best track, “Book of Dreams”. She has lofty ambitions to make it into the world of music, and you can’t help but cheer her on as she races toward her goal. It is refreshing to hear and see artists that don’t rely on costume changes, skimpy clothing and bad reputations in a tabloid to bolster their careers. For more information on Shalini check her website. Anyone that likes pomegranates, Mozart and violent video games can’t be all bad.