Sunday, May 15, 2011

@BedstuyBetty Reviews Mara Hruby's From Her Eyes

On a late Sunday night I find myself restless, perhaps it’s because I can finally feel those notes of Spring drifting into my window or the more likely reason is because I’m an insomniac.  However, I was pleasantly surprised by From Her Eyes, the debut EP of West Coast artist Mara Hruby.  Originally from Oakland, CA she began performing in 2010 all over the Bay Area before then taking nine solid months to work on her first release, even going as far as to record as well as arrange & engineer her vocals.  The 22-year-old artist has compiled seven tracks of covers originally recorded by male artists and as music has a tendency of doing, each song has touched her life in some monumental way.

Her ethereal notes pull us in on the first track “Stereolab (Lose Myself)”, a song originally recorded by The Roots for the Dilla Joints tribute album. Her simple but beautiful voice leaves haunting harmonies over chill guitar riffs and an austere beat. This track is also Mara’s first single and there’s video out for it now directed by none other than singer/songwriter Jesse Boykins III. A following track covering Jamiroquai’s “Alright” is totally stripped down and smooth. She maintains a fine line between funk and chill jazz that I’m sure would even make Jay Kay proud. Her tonality does remind me slightly of Amel Larrieaux but that merely adds another facet to this track.

While From Her Eyes is a solid body of work, I will admit that I am mildly perplexed by Ms. Hruby’s choice of her first EP being one entirely comprised of cover songs. Being a new artist is tough and one usually has to stand out from the rest. Although this EP is very pretty and very chill, I’ll be patiently waiting for an original compilation from Mara Hruby because she does have loads of potential.

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