Misty Boyce Album Cover
image © Modern Vintage
a close up of the singer
click on image to visit Misty's MySpace
image © Modern Vintage
(29 August 2010) New Mexico native and New York City-based Misty Boyce got her feet wet as a professional musician playing keyboard for The Naked Brothers Band. Don't let her tween-pop roots fool you, Boyce is a serious songwriter in her own right, with a drop-dead voice and a style that compares well against folks like Sarah Slean, Regina Spektor and Tori Amos. Her self-titled debut album (Modern Vintage Recordings (USA), 2010) is a twelve track collection of ballads and upbeat pop numbers. Misty plays pioano akd keyboards and sings on the album. Some will recognize Doug Yowell (November Project, MaryAnne Marino) who contributed drums to a couple of the tracks.
The album opens with "Razors," a jaunty, angry tune very much in the style of Sarah Slean. Boyce admonishes an old love to go away, although methinks she doth protest too much. It's a great composition, and the layered vocal harmonies are a great accent. "Trouble" is a highly stylistic ballad. It is a sad soliloquy from a person who's taken satisfaction in being broken but is now turning away someone who would be good for her for fear she’ll ruin him. It's a case of tragic redemption through self-sacrifice. Boyce surrounds this story with gorgeous instrumentation and a near-perfect arrangement.
Misty gets a bit more pop-oriented on "Be A Man." Written from the perspective of a child acting out because of a divorce in the family and a new woman in dad's life, "Trouble" is an amazingly stark and potent bit of songwriting. "How Long" is a delicious mix of intense emotions in a stark arrangement and a distinctive pop sensibility. "Regrets" seems more rueful than anything else, mixing regret and a positive outlook in a viable power-pop arrangement that works well for the singer.
The best pop songwriting on the album comes in the form of "Love You Down," a song that might win the title as ultimate come-on song. Misty wears her heart on her sleeve on "Slow Burn," a nearly mournful tune of devotion. The arrangement crafted for "Slow Burn" is a gorgeous mix of dark and light; hope and pain. "Dutch Girls" is stark and needful. It is a song about loneliness in a digital age where we are drawn closer and closer to each other even as we grow more confined within our digital walls. There is an over-arching sense of loss that runs throughout Misty Boyce, which turns out to be something of a post-breakup album.
Misty doesn't leave listeners mired in the emotional ruins however, ending up in the self-awareness and hope of "Snowed In." The track finds the singer forced to stop for a day and see her life as it is; and realizing that things are okay. It's not healing, per se, but certainly a sign that all will be well.
The debut album announces Misty Boyce to be a musical force to be reckoned with. Comparisons to Regina Spektor, Sarah Slean and Tori Amos are all well-founded, but Misty is her own songwriter, and one senses that over time her sound
might become even more distinctive. As a debut album, Misty Boyce approaches brilliance. Original review by Wildly in Amherst, NY; edited by Russ Elliot