Joey Curtin exhibits the raw power


Instrumental music doesn’t need lyrics to be profoundly poetic in litany of other ways, and Joey Curtin exhibits the raw power of voiceless melodicism brilliantly in her single “Chrysalis,” which is now available everywhere that independent music is sold and streamed. From the very get-go, we’re invited to bask in the sonic glow of a glaring synthesizer that is riddled with an emotionality that is as cutting as it is endearing to our most tender of sensibilities. We cut through thick waves of bass-heavy piano cries, which crush us with their somber sway but fall short of devolving into straight-up avant-garde eccentricities. You don’t have to be familiar with her past work to appreciate the provocative aesthetics that are present in this song, but for those of us who have been following her career for a while, this is easily some of her most moving material to date.

“Chrysalis” is constructed elegantly, much as a symphony would be, and there’s a lot of attention paid to even the subtlest of details in the tempo, textured melodies and harmonious interplay between the droning synth and the pendulous piano. I think that it’s more than obvious that Joey Curtin is heavily invested in every aspect of the recording process, as there’s a passion in the shifting tide that guides us from one act into another in this song seamlessly. She’s painting us a picture without ever raising a brush or speaking a word, and in an era dominated by jargon-driven plasticity and inauthentic verse, hers is a sound that really stands out when you come across it for the first time.

My only issue with this single is in regards to the master mix and its somewhat dysfunctional relationship with the piano parts. This mix feels really plain compared to the music that it was designed to filter, but I wouldn’t say that it impedes the evocative tones from imparting a unique message unto us just the same. The true treasure in this track is the intrepidly crafted melodies, which I believe could bring a discriminating critic to his or her knees regardless of the format or environment in which it’s presented to us. Joey Curtin’s professional presence might be limited to the underground at the moment, but she plays like a seasoned international superstar from start to finish in “Chrysalis.”

I am very pleased with what this artist has been producing over the last decade, and she’s continuing to impress with both her most recent studio concoctions as well as in her re-released material from classics like Tigris and Euphrates. There’s plenty of ground left for her to cover in upcoming projects, but there’s no denying that she’s firing on all cylinders and producing on an entirely different level than most anyone else in her scene currently is. If you haven’t already, acquire a copy of “Chrysalis” and its parent album (along with 2017’s Between Earth and Heaven if you can) the next time that you are in the market for new music. If you’re as devoted an experimental music buff as I am, you definitely won’t regret it.


Michael Rand

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