"Corner House" By Kerchief (Cleveland, TN)/Indie Pop/Released Sep 2016
I first came across Brittany Hill’s Kerchief project last fall and wrote a review about her debut solo album “Machines And Animals”. The more I listened the more I was enamored by the heartfelt songwriting and emotive nature of the music. So much so I ranked the record third on my list of top ten albums I reviewed last year. Around the same time Hill released the “Corner House” EP to tide fans over until Kerchief’s next full length release planned for later this year.
“Corner House” contains many of the same elements that made previous release “Machines And Animals” great. Mellow, moody alternative rock with songwriting at the forefront and the highlight of Brittany Hill’s distinct vocals. This time however there’s the twist of electronic elements sprinkled in with drum samples and synths being leading elements to the EP’s five tracks and is reminiscent of the “Demonstrations” EP Kerchief released in 2013.
The EP opens with the brief “Way Back”, an atmospheric introduction to the change in sound from the previous record. “Baby Teeth” centers around a clean, reverberating guitar line and soft percussion with a nursery rhyme-esque vocal melody. “Give In” is more purely electronic in its instrumentation and very bass heavy echoing much of Lorde’s musical style. “Settling” is a more upbeat number that would fit right in with 90s female-led singer-songwriter pop and strikes a perfect balance between live and electronic instruments and production. Closer “Ugly Machine” is more in line with Kerchief’s “Machines And Animals” work with its live instrumentation but stays with the downtempo theme of the EP.
“Corner House” displays an exciting openness to experimentation that blends the sound of “Machine’s and Animals” and “Demonstrations” and pushes it further. Elements from genres like indie pop and trip hop work well with the 90s alternative vibe of Kerchief’s sound while not alienating previous fans. The balance of live and electronic instrumentation is a unique blend that bodes for interesting possibilities when the the next full length album from Hill surfaces. Kerchief remains a band to watch with exciting things to come later in the year.