Review of Kiera Dall’Osto’s Debut Album
Reaching into a grab bag where anything can come out can be risky business. Fortunately, when it comes to singer-songwriter Kiera Dall’Osto’s self-titled debut album, you’ll get nothing but good things from it.
Upon listening through it for the first time, it was difficult to peg what kind of genre Dall’Osto’s album fell into. There were strong folk sounds in there, yes, but underneath were layers of country, americana and some honky tonk with inklings of psychedelic.
No matter the style of music that presented itself in a track, Dall’Osto’s singing voice seamlessly fit into each one; her mellow yet striking vocals were the final puzzle piece to go along with the instrumentals.
For the making of this album, Dall’Osto put together a group of strong musicians, including herself on vocals. The band consisted of Lucas Goetz from the Canadian alt-country band Deep Dark Woods as drummer, with folk musicians Clayton Linthicum and Kacy Anderson—both of whom double as close loved ones of Dall’Osto’s.
“They’re super talented and probably my biggest influences, actually. They pushed me to record with them,” said Dall’Osto in regards to Linthicum and Anderson. “It was kind of like ‘Okay, I’ve got these phenomenal musicians that I admire and they’re also my friends.’”
Indeed, the recording for this album only began in January 2016. Dall’Osto explained that Anderson and Linthicum had just finished the recording of their own album and had jumped on the opportunity to convince her to record a proper album with them.
“Within a few days, they had gotten back to me about booking studio rooms and rehearsal times,” Dall’Osto said. “[…] We took our time and had considered a fall release date [for the album], but then in April I was expecting a little baby so our plans had to change.”
Ever since its official release as of May 1, 2017, Dall’Osto still finds it surreal that her work is actually out there for the world to hear.
Every track on this album was written by Dall’Osto save for the first on the list, “Graveyard Shift,” which was written by Anderson. Dall’Osto stated that Anderson had approached her with this song, insisting that she sing it for the album.
The track begins by fading in with a prominent bassline to accompany a casual guitar strum and slow, steady drum beat. The beat picks up as Dall’Osto’s voice comes into the mix, breathing life into the song.
Soon after, the keyboard is implemented to add a haunting, warm sound, a necessary touch to the track that ultimately makes everything come together smoothly. Easily the most psychedelic of the tracks on the album and a great introduction, letting listeners know what they’re in for.
“It’s a moody song and I like that kind of sound. It’s definitely one of my favourites on the album,” Dall’Osto said. “Just for those people who put a CD in, listen to the first track and they either go ‘no’ or ‘yes.’”
Another good track was “In A Moment,” a song that begins with a lot of silent breaks that create a sense of anticipation for what sound will come next. Only then does the beat pick up, all the instruments coming in at once. The light hitting of cymbals accompanied by the use of a tremolo effect on the guitar made for an interesting sound that was reminiscent of a few older classics like Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang” and “Nights in White Satin” by The Moody Blues.
The album comes to a close with “Nothing,” a song with a melancholic sound that begins with the steady picking of guitar strings and a gentle flute, almost like a farewell song.
“I really like listening to whole albums. It’s kind of like a journey. So “Nothing” is a little bit like a lullaby,” Dall’Osto explained when asked why she chose to end the album with this song. She further explained that the bass and kick drum that are present in the track remind her of a heartbeat, making it a thoughtful place to end the album. “It stands alone and the only song that has minimal instrumentation and finishes slowly. And once it’s done, you’re left in silence.”
Overall, this album was an interesting experience from start to finish. A good choice if you’re driving along a quiet road at night and you feel like popping in a CD for some tunes. Although, I feel as if this album would be a good listen no matter what time of day. Even if country might not be a genre that you prefer, you’ll most likely find a song on this album that you’ll like.
Now that her album is out, Dall’Osto has stated that she will be performing in the Regina Folk Festival in August along with a few other music festivals throughout the summer. Beyond that, Dall’Osto has a few other ideas, although she isn’t looking to publish anything else anytime soon.
“If this is the only album I record, I’m okay with that,” she said. “Of course I’ve got dreams for a country-swing record and all these other ideas that I have in mind, but I’m not in a rush. I just wanna make music.”
Kiera Dall’Osto // kieradallosto.bandcamp.com/releases