Scuffed Up

It’s barely a few days since we told you how much we had been enjoying the recordings of Izzie Derry yet already there is a new four song EP for us to explore. It is perhaps inevitable that the record should be the sound of a young singer-songwriter exploring the possibilities offered by the bottomless well of influence, but whilst we may not be convinced by Derry’s dabbling in the realms of The Blues on opener ‘All For Something’ and ‘Fire’, there are glimmers of hope even here. The organ and bluesy guitar irritations ultimately spoil it for us, but ‘Fire’ is often darkly insistent in its proclamations of independence and structurally has moments of thrilling expectation that once again summon memories of the marvellous Hello Saferide. Perhaps one worth revisiting in the way in which Derry previously reworked her ‘Learn To Grow’ into something more spacious and intriguing from the blunt (but still terrific) indie-folk-rock interpretation on the ‘Lost At Sea’ EP. The flip side of this exploration of a blues direction are two songs which tread paths we feel much more comfortable on, with the country folk slow dance of ’Now I See’ and the introspective EP title track ‘Take It From Me’. ‘Now I See’ is a gorgeous ballad that recalls the delicate desolation angel qualities of Courtney Marie Andrews or Carson McHone. Title track ’Take It From Me’ continues in this vein but adds some additional body to the sound in appropriate places, setting off a sweet balance to the voids into which Derry lets her voice creak like leather in the desert heat. It all makes for an EP that comes over a bit like First Aid Kit given a few goings over with sandpaper to scuff the smooth edges, and there is nothing wrong with that. Those DM boots always look better with a couple of scratches and a patina of weariness after all, don’t they?

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