Ken Pomeroy is full of surprises. The fifteen-year-old from Oklahoma has been writing songs and singing since she was nine as if it was the most natural thing in the world. She sounds like it’s the most natural thing in the world. There is no hint of precocity whatsoever. She just has the gift!

She’s beaten Taylor Swift who started singing aged ten and writing songs aged twelve or a young Soak writing and performing since her early teens.

Where real talent is concerned, this youthfulness should not deter the listener nor determine the outcome. ‘Hallways’ is a joy to listen through. She has a unique vocal quality. Her lyrics and sound transcend her years, both timeless and deeply insightful.

Self-assured and effortless, she cruises through these seven tracks as if she knows the universe has her back.

Lyrically, she displays the mark of an old soul, with depth that typically comes from many more years on this earth.

That sentence from her publicity material literally sums her up.

Tackling social issues such as homelessness, deprivation, isolation, addiction, loneliness, human hurt, and insecurity, steeped in a rootsy Americana sound, it’s clear to see her affinity to the master that was Woody Guthrie.

She has already chalked up numerous awards and accolades, not least rising through the ranks to perform her nine-minute piece on Woody Guthrie on National History Day stage in DC. Playing multiple folk festivals across the US this year, she rounded off summer 2018 at the prestigious Woody Guthrie Folk Festival.

Earlier this year, ‘The Sidewalk Song’ won the inaugural Jimmy LaFave Songwriting Contest. In true Guthrie style, it jauntily tackles rough sleeping, survival instinct, stumbling along the sidewalk through addiction and poverty to somehow know that everything will work out alright.

I’m okay, I’m alright, I’ll be fine, I’ll just have to find another way.

That self-same person can turn a corner, walk that sidewalk with confidence, where once they slept and struggled to make it through another day. Excellent perception for an early-teen.

The title track ‘Hallways’ is a standout song that eerily shows the strength of maturity and self-reflection that becomes the young Pomeroy, while ‘River’ flips to a poetically engaging tribute to the gentle music to be found in its perpetual flow.

‘Hallways’ opens with ‘Be There’, and straightaway you can tell that this is an artist who instinctively knows her craft; a well-structured tune, whereas ‘Deprived’ shows the social conscience is alive in the up and coming generation of Americana folk artists.

‘Three Wonderful Words’ suggests there’s still room for a little romance in this hard, cold world. ‘Livin’ The Dream’ has a sense of humour and the add-in harmonies are living proof that we can all get by with a little help from our friends – a perfect end to a fine first album.

‘Hallways’ is available to buy or stream from usual outlets from Friday 2nd November 2018.

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