Erin McKeown: Hundreds of Lions
McKeown continues to distinguish herself with clever lyrics and instrumentation
It can be hard to stand out in today’s landscape of female songwriters, where vocal acrobatics and wild orchestral accompaniment have become de rigeur, but on her latest, Erin McKeown offers a few blossoms in the brush. While the lush instrumentation on openers “to a Hammer” and “santa cruz” is bright and pleasant, and the playful rockabilly number “the Rascal” is a foot-stomping good time, Hundreds of Lions truly shines as it begins to slow down.
On “you, sailor,” the strong-willed and witty McKeown softens with gentle vocals and the stunning hum of whistles and strings. On raw, crackling closing track “seamless,” McKeown’s voice glides atop simple guitar strums and chirping birds, hinting at the conditions in which the multi-instrumentalist made the record—independently, in a farmhouse studio in the New England countryside. McKeown’s guard is down as she muses on the vulnerability and humility required for real intimacy: “We are tiny when held against the sky we are fused you and I / what do I care how seamless is the line / where we begin and end?”