EP Review of Erin Pellnat: Dream in Color
Dream in Color is a four-song EP by Brooklyn, NY-based singer-songwriter Erin Pellnat that blends superior compositional craftsmanship, with insightful lyrics and tasteful musicianship. This talented young musician also currently fronts the NYC-based band Caretaker, with all instruments played, and the recording produced, by her father and co-writer Christopher Pellnat.
“Blue Skies and Happiness” opens the album where a jazzy samba-like rhythmic undercurrent sets the stage for a tale of love gone wrong. Based on Irving Berlin’s 1926 standard “Blue Skies,” Pellnat’s song reveals a touch of gray, with the opening lines: “Blues skies and happiness/Those were your promises/But it’s been raining for days and I’m so sad/Why does it have to be so bad?” This bossa nova-flavored track kind of has an Eliane Elias meets Jobim quality to it.
The title track “Dream in Color” is another slice from the songwriter’s collective pie. It’s kind of psychedelic folk, with a “glass half-full” perspective. Pellnat urges the listener to consider accentuating the positive aspects of life, with these opening lines: “Think fast, faster than you can haul ass/Away from your deep and dark past/Silence the voices and ask/Why don’t you dream in color?” She sings it with such laconic and self-assured conviction, how can you refuse?
“Stay” spotlights another interesting song construction that features lilting Beatles-esque verses paired with a waltz-like chorus. The spirit of this piece is ethereally poetic, with a subtle British folk rock quality to it. The violin and accordion are nice touches and add to the song’s allure and mystique.
“Forever Kisses” finds Pellnat ever the hopeless romantic again, with the lines: “No love is lost in the end/Whether a lover or friend.” The tender folk song is driven by an odd-metered snare drum and atypical chord changes. This all adds to the eclectic and unique nature of the tune. She concludes the piece and this superb set of songs with words that are as prophetic as they are profound: “Why can’t we stay the same?/Young and beautiful again?”
With this being a debut release for the versatile and erudite singer, there is nowhere to go but up, as they say. Consider, if you will, some thoughtful and sophisticated pop that elevates the genre. It takes you, the listener, on a wonderful path that is least travelled and well worth the journey.