Love, Save the Empty (Bonus Track Version)
The comparisons to Sara Bareilles are inevitable, so let's get those out of the way. Yes, Erin McCarley's debut exudes a similarly sunny and soulful singer-songwriter vibe. And sure "Pony (It's OK)" will remind you of Bareilles' big hit "Love Song" with its bouncy piano intro that unfolds to expose a big triumphant chorus laced with diamond barbed hooks. But Erin McCarley definitely brings her own matchless style to the table. Just listen to "Blue Suitcase," a swooning and wistful three-and-a-half minute epic that soars with symphonic orchestration under her dainty inflections, recalling equal parts Bjork and Norah Jones before McCarley comes into her own tone on that big, beautiful, panoramic, and peerless refrain. The beautifully melancholic "Pitter-Pat" is the breakup song to end all breakup songs, a ballad that sways on faraway sounding beats underneath sparse piano notes, moody strings, and the kind of haunting melody that can only come when a relationship is truly doomed. The title track is a playful piece that dances dangerously with heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics and a gorgeous chorus you can hum for days on end.