How Far is the debut ep from Byla Rose that are the middle names of the bands lead vocalist and songwriter Julia Rose Cummings who is now based in Seattle but grew up in Hawaii.
She has assembled a top-notch band for this ep that includes David Immergluck on Guitar, Mandolin and Pedal Steel, Larry Taylor on Bass and Stephen Hodges on Drums with some backing vocals from Kudisan Kai, which means she has Tom Waits Rhythm section from Raindogs and Mule Variations which should be recommendation enough.
The How Far ep opens with the folksy blues of What Water Does with Julia Rose Cummings vocals sounding a good bit like Joan Armatrading as she sings about waters innate ability to go wherever it wants to go, the backing has a wonderful amount of restraint, even within David Immergluck's guitar solo that draws you in ready for the second verse.
How Far is a mid-western road song that asks all sorts of questions about just how Far You have to go to find the answers that were already there before you left, the vocals have a kind of hushed quality to them that have the odd Rickie Lee Jones style inflections for emphasis set against the slide guitar.
A Secret is trying not to spill the beans on just what her secret really is over a slow calm almost campfire folk song as she just skirts round the reasons for keeping that secret.
Time is much more upbeat and sounds like Don't Ask Don't Tell era Michelle Shocked as she fights against the ravages of time and what it might do to you or your relationships and has a really cool mandolin solo.
The ep closes with Last Call that seems to have slowed down Blank Generation and turned it into a late-night blues to drink and decadent living, as she has a lover than needs an ultimatum, I love the way this leaves me singing Richard Hell, but also loving the way David Immergluck does a similar to Robert Quine guitar solo, but less amplified, that makes this sound like a no wave late night set closer, a song I can easily hear multiple times.
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