Do not sigh in exasperation yet; yes, Donnelly is another pretty but pensive songstress however there is something refreshing about this four song EP.
Like many of the alternative female singers that have enjoyed some degree of fame in the past few years, she has long, blonde hair and is decidedly stylish. What is different here is that her voice isn’t but a whisper over a weeping guitar; it is wholehearted, comes from the stomach and could easily be likened to the style of many female country and folk singers of the ’60s America.
Opening track Break Me Down begins with a soul-pop lick and warbling verse. It soon leads into a June Carter-Cash style rhythm with a suitable country twang found in Donnelly’s voice. There is a wonderful theme of rustic, innocent romance which again conjures up an air of ’60s folk music. There really should be more of this in the songs that follow.
The folk element of things seems to be abandoned in the radio friendly, IMRO Christie Hennessy Award nominated Circus; although the romantic reminiscence is still present and Donnelly’s vocal is consistently impressive. Likewise Winter City, despite it’s Nick Cave-esque story telling outset, is slightly watered down with hints of Donnelly’s natural Celtic lilt slipping through the contemporary set up occasionally. That being said, these songs are not ‘bad’; they are moving, well written and wonderfully delivered. They are simply lacking the fortitude for which the opening track sets the listener up.
Donnelly, as outlined already, has something more refreshing about her than the blonde folk songstress’ that precede her. There is an air of retrospect in her voice and an old-fashioned approach to the lyrics however this is something which could have been injected more often into the EP. One small fault does not harm the beauty of this EP; Yellowbridge’s début offering is a sparkling effort with story-painting lyrics and uplifting tunes.