The female voice. It can be argued that, more so than a man’s voice, it can elicit a myriad of emotions. From Maria Callas to Britney Spears, the female voice has been a source of both awe and scorn on behalf of both genders. The umbrella of the feminine rock vocal covers an eternity of different tastes and genres, however, and listeners must pick and choose between aspects of the voice that they find palatable. Let’s set aside the whole Top 40 / American Idol wannabe genre of female vocalists so as to avoid that minefield altogether. Lately, even outside of said minefield, singers, male or female, that can actually sing, have been scarce.
Then along came a girl called Eddy. Her real name is Erin Moran and I approve of the new moniker not only because it’s catchy and references Dusty Springfield (A Girl Called Dusty), but also so as not to confuse her with Joanie from Happy Days. Eddy’s story is one for the `inspirational’ file as she decided to set aside her fears of failure and attempt to sing after her mother passed. After some minor successes and tours, most recently with Cousteau, Eddy has made it. I say she has made it not because of monetary gains or chart hits, but because after hearing her debut album, simply titled A Girl Called Eddy, she can hold her head up high after such a fantastic achievement.
Make no mistake, Eddy can really sing. Her voice is dusky and sweet, reminiscent of some of today’s best female singer songwriters, most notably and eerily Aimee Mann, while her music, yes it’s her music, recalls the old school heroes of her past including the aforementioned Ms. Dusty Springfield, Burt Bacharach, Scott Walker, and the Carpenters. What a combination! What’s more is she pulls it off with ease thanks to the brilliant production work by Pulp touring guitarist Richard Hawley. Hawley is also a solo artist who has toured with Pulp and Coldplay and has also been in the band Longpigs. Under his guiding hand, A Girl Called Eddy has become everything it can be. While some may say that the album’s styles are all over the map, Hawley pieces the songs together in a patchwork quilt that strengthens the power of Eddy’s songwriting and singing prowess.
From the melancholy Scott Walker-esque “Tears All Over Town”, to the ode to her mother “Kathleen,” the poppy radio-friendly “The Long Goodbye,” and the bouncy “Life Thru the Same Lens,” A Girl Called Eddy is the trumpet call heralding the arrival of a true talent. She is the standard bearer for the `female voice’. She might not be as quirky as Björk or Joanna Newsom, nor as gritty as P.J. Harvey, but she has something all her own. The centerpiece of the album is a song that I could have sworn was actually a cover of a Bacharach tune. It’s called “People Used to Dream About the Future” and it’s a hell of a song. It’s one of many songs that exemplify the fact that Eddy is nothing if not a storyteller, a true asset for a singer / songwriter.
If you have gone through Tori, Björk, P.J., Liz, Sarah, Norah, Aimee, and all the rest and are looking for something that is the true epitome of what is required for a bride to be (something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue), then pick up A Girl Called Eddy.
Aimee Mann- Bachelor No. 2
Dusty Springfield- Dusty in Memphis
Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach- Painted from Memory