Album Review – Anna Lynch’s “Apples in the Fall”

If you’re apt to fall in love with the albums and songs from sincere and critically-acclaimed songwriters such as Lori McKenna, Emily Scott Robinson, and Caroline Spence, take a listen to this new EP from Anna Lynch called Apples in the Fall that is likely to nestle quite smartly into your tastes and sensibilities. An excellent little effort with really well-written songs and sensational melodies, about the only gripe to raise with Ms. Anna is how she leaves you wanting more.

Originally from the small town of Sebastopol in California’s Sonoma region, Anna Lynch made the adventurous decision to move to Alaska where she first embedded herself in a music scene as a singer and songwriter with a penchant for putting folk and traditional country behind her original songs. This resulted in a self-titled debut released in 2013, and much appreciation from the small fanbase she accrued from this remote outpost.

Now after moving on from her Alaska era and doing a stint in Portland, OR, she started traveling around a little bit before landing in Asheville, North Carolina, which happens to be the perfect backdrop for her songs that lend themselves well to the instrumentation of bluegrass and Appalachian old time, while carrying messages and music that ring universal.

The title track of this five-song EP starts way back in Anna Lynch’s hometown in California though, reminiscent and mournful about the changes taking shape that she notices on return visits, like the stock we all take of our hometowns. Regardless of how inevitable these changes are, they tend to feel as unjust as the erasing of memories when you hold something so fondly and static in your mind.

But don’t regard the music of Anna Lynch as a simple work of nostalgic fancy and positive sentiments of supple fruit. A breakup narrative reveals itself in these five songs, as does some pluck, boldness, and honesty about the rigors and shallowness of searching for love in the songs “Hotter Than Hades” and “Beer in Jars.” The aching realization that it’s really over in “Do You Miss Me Yet” makes for an depressingly beautiful experience.

It’s the deftness at melodic composition that really separates the music of Anna Lynch from the everyday drone of singer/songwriter Americana. Anna Lynch’s melodies are perfect for the sweet tone of her voice, and the vision she brings to her stories. Even in the very traditional, almost arcane approach to “Beer in Jars,” she shows a deeper understanding of how to infect the ears with a melody in degrees of appeal often only found in pop.

Perhaps landing in Asheville will result in more output from Anna Lynch in the near future. After being teased by the five songs of Apples in the Fall, we can only hope.

8/10

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