Irish/English singer-songwriter Imelda Kehoe struck a much different tone on her track “Blue Sky Baby,” compared with the other tracks that I have been reviewing for this blog. “Blue Sky Baby” is slow, anthemic, velvety, and creates a pulsating feeling of drama that crescendos as the track goes on, all while touching on jazz and big band sounds.
What makes “Blue Sky Baby” so unique is the lack of percussion and the duet style instrumentation. All of the music in the track is created by a piano and strings. The string instrument in particular is violin. The piano supports the track by centering on chord progressions and texturing sounds, while the violin leads the way with the melody. I love the relaxing yet anthemic sound that the song gives. “Blue Sky Baby ” feels like something from a Hans Zimmer soundtrack, yet also something you could listen to while in your favorite coffee shop. Imelda Kehoe strikes an interesting balance, but it works. The jazzy and big band undertones feel authentic, and I also enjoyed how crisp each of the instruments sound. In a lot of independent music, the major flaw is the production, but in the case of “Blue Sky Baby”, the production is flawless. The music does a great job of setting up the track for the centerpiece: the vocal performance.
Rich vocals dominate the track and elevate it to the next level. I love Imelda Kehoe’s vocal performance. The articulation on every note feels almost laborious, like pulling a sheet over a bed, but yet the depth and fluidity of Kehoe’s voice makes the vocal performance so engaging. I also enjoyed the slight vibrato that Kehoe adds to every extended tone. Another part I loved about the vocals is the way Kehoe alternates between notes during the same word. A good example can be found at minute 1:08 during the word “anything.” Overall, I am a huge fan of Imelda Kehoe’s voice, and I am sure that you will be too.
The lyrics of “Blue Sky Baby” are also solid. The song centers as an ode to, yes you guessed correctly, the blue sky. While I normally am not a huge fan of songs that read like poems, as sometimes I feel that they can come off as inauthentic, I do think “Blue Sky Baby” has enough atmosphere through the music and vocals to accommodate the lyrics. Lines like “see I’m a lot like you, I hide away too, from something close to happiness,” are crisp and engaging, and I enjoyed the anthropomorphizing of the sky.
Imelda Kehoe has created a track that is very engaging, yet relaxing and ambient. “Blue Sky Baby” lives in anthemic space, and I think the song thrives on dynamic instrumentation and an outstanding vocal performance. While I personally was not a huge fan of the lyrics, I fell in love with the way the song transports you to another place, and I am definitely going to be listening to more music from this Irish/English songwriter.