It took a little while for this to grow on me, but I grew to feel a warm affection for its simplicity, melodies and honesty. Kalyn Fay’s voice is pure and her lyrical sentiments steeped in a stark integrity. An aching emptiness is echoed in the gentle opening track ‘Good Company’ – she’s just looking to settle down, with some good company.
Life on the road can be isolating and lonely. This seeps out through the album in songs like ‘Wait For Me’ and ‘Highway Driving’. There’s a sense of a heavy heart, a weary spirit, doing some soul searching, relayed in her lyrical content.
Kalyn Fay has spent the last three years honing her writing skills with national and international songwriters such as Leah Flanagan and Kaia Kater. ‘Good Company’ is her second release on Oklahoma-based label Horton Records.
Her sound is said to be “quintessentially Oklahoma”. It is certainly driven by folk, rock, country sensibility as her biog states. I am reminded in places of Suzanne Vega and Tracy Chapman, but, clearly, Kalyn Fay’s sound is all her own. As a Cherokee singer-songwriter, she explores her relationship with place, with home, her home-state and its values, the people, and the land as explored in ‘Oklahoma Hills’. There is a sense of being tethered to all that home means, yet not quite fully belonging there either, therefore the quest to find meaning in the great beyond.
As a follow up to her 2016 debut album ‘Bible Belt’, Kalyn Fay takes forward her frankness and honesty with a second phase of self-discovery. Her creative and introspective soul is apparent. She has managed to write, record, and launch this album while studying for a fine arts degree in Arkansas.
She describes ‘Good Company’ as “a love letter to the place I know best” – of the prairie and the people on it. This shines through. “My ties to Oklahoma and Tulsa are extremely strong,” she says. “Sometimes I feel unable to separate how I describe myself and my music from the land”.
Produced by Jesse Aycock, her voice leads the way, with gentle backing vocals, guitar solos and a rich blend of melody and rhythm. ‘Alright In The End’ lifts the melancholy with a sense of hope. This is a thoughtful, reflective album and a pleasure on the ear.
‘Good Company’ is released on 15th February 2019. kalynfay.com