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CD Review: Kirsten DeHaan

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Kirsten DeHaan
Thorns on a Crown
(SirLady Records, 2009)

Kirsten DeHaan is a Woodstock artist to keep an eye—and an ear—on. Her recently released EP, Thorns on a Crown, is a bit of a tease, with five songs that make one wonder—when can we hear the rest?

The upbeat “1984” introduces her guitar/bass/drums-based sound and catchy songwriting skills, but it’s her elastic vocals that really pop. There are gratifying nuances in her voice and a little-girl quality that approaches the likes of Lisa Loeb or local songbird Valen. “Double or Nothing” is another cheery tune that urges the listener to get up and move. Things slow down on “The Night Shift,” which is a good thing, as the colorful variations in DeHaan’s voice are punctuated even more in moments of silence. She breaks out her harmonica in “I’m Coming Home,” and her singing is particularly earnest here. DeHaan winds down the EP with “Ms. Daisy,” another buoyant tune that leaves you wanting more.

Another local publication voted this record into the top 10 of regional releases for 2009 and with good reason. DeHaan says her mission is to deliver goose bumps and to question the status quo, and she’s been doing just that on college and adult alternative stations across the Northeast. www.kirstendehaan.com

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