Record Review by Janelle Finamore
Listening to Amy Duncan’s Pilgrimage is like taking a spiritual journey through nature. Her ethereal vocals and melodies evoke images of bright colored flowers and serene lakes at dusk. Duncan has an incredible vocal range from deep low tones to high soprano notes that are sung in a beautiful round head voice. The simple accompaniments of her music consist of light guitar picks or piano chords. This simplicity really gives her gorgeous vocals a chance to be noticed.
In the third track, “Walk Away,” Duncan sings in an operatic tone during certain phrases, and then switches to her chest voice for other moments. Her voice is versatile, although some may consider it inconsistent to sing so many different styles in one song. The theme of this song is that if you are true to yourself, everything will come out alright. With that said, Duncan is certainly following her own advice and allowing her musical expression to flow freely and honestly. Therefore, one cannot fault her for some inconsistencies in tone; rather, it is a refreshing sound.
“Stars” and “Pilgrimage” are two tracks on this album that reflect on the blissfulness of nature. Both of these songs are similar in production to Kate Bush’s new album Aerial, which is also a treatise of nature. “The only sound” consists of high ranged vocals with dissonant harmonies, showing a tinge of an Emily Bezar influence. Duncan writes “all the skies are empty and the only sound is your heartbeat.” The image of empty skies is sung softly on a sweet melody. This track can elicit an emptiness of thoughts, making it the perfect lullaby to induce sleepiness before bed. In fact, the whole album is a great way to unwind and submerge into a tranquil state before falling asleep.
More by this writer:
The Bird and the Bee - Again and Again and Again and Again
Angela Ortiz - All About You
Casey Dienel - Wind-Up Canary
Therina Bella - Waiting for a Ghost