Forget the genre, ask yourself “Does this music make me feel what the artist is saying?”.

I have passed on so many technically perfect albums but when you come across something like this one you have to just dive in and absorb the passion and the feeling that the album manages.

Kristina Stykos is not a name I’m familiar with but once I started listening to her music I was completely enraptured with her passion.
Sure, she hasn’t got the sweetest of vocal styles – I would put her alongside early Patti Smith in her vocals – but she tells her tales and makes her poetry and you just can’t help but get involved in the music.

At heart, this sits in the Americana pigeonhole but it really is much more than that. She is supported by some superb musicians; Abby Jenne on guitar & vocals, Patrick Ross on cello, Steve Mayone on guitar and between them they create dense and bittersweet melanges of sound around Stykos wonderful words.

There is a sense of melancholy that pervades the album but no sense of depression or fear, at heart these are proud songs and her use of words is evocative.

I wouldn’t describe Kristina Stykos as a singer/songwriter as much as I would call her a poet of nature and relationships. This album will have me off, seeking her earlier material because this is just too good not to.