Review – Kay Berkel Teams with Daniel Romano for Great Little EP

kay-berkel-you-erased-me-from-your-worldWhether you’re looking for some new music involving country music Canadian throwback Daniel Romano since it’s been exactly three years since his last release, or if you’re looking for a new name that embodies that classic country sound and style from the Golden Era that has been so lost and overlooked in the current country music malaise, this little four-song EP from Kay Berkel, a love interest of Romano’s and a member of his backing band The Trilliums, will be right down your alley.

Like a treasure tucked away in a time capsule from being too precious to only be enjoyed by one time period, the music of Kay Berkel’s You Erased Me From Your World (When You Drew Her In) EP transports you back to the most revered era of country music when the sentiments were pure, the sound was fresh and foreboding, and the modes proved to be timeless. Daniel Romano takes a heavy hand in this effort, writing all four of the songs and producing the session that sees him singing close harmonies with Berkel through many stanzas, but Kay matches Romano’s ability to capture a reminiscent sound and mood and rekindle a style of country that captivates audiences thirsty for a more classical approach.

For only four songs, this EP covers a lot of ground. “I’m Convincing Me” starts as the sweet account of a pining heart, and turns into a full fledged murder ballad. The “You Erased Me From Your World” title track draws on Romano’s cunning ability to re-create the mood of country’s classics in new forms. “Diamonds and Dogs” might be the best-written track of the lot, while “If Words Can’t Express It” strikes a slightly more contemporary, 70’s singer/songwriter feel compared to the others.

This collaboration between Romano and Berkel works so well because Kay can take songs ideas from Romano to a vocal register Romano can’t as deftly accomplish to tap into the pure emotion of the lyric, and do it from a female perspective. They’re like the He-Man and She-Ra of Canadian throwback Rhinestone indie country, battling the evil forces of country music gentrification with their powerful classic country muse.

The primary cause for concern with this EP is that it is only an EP. This is why such short efforts are sometimes discouraged, because they tend to go so unfortunately overlooked in the incessant dirge of full-length disc releases that overcomes many consumers from their sheer numbers. You expand this style of music out to ten or twelve tracks and people will be telling you it’s one of the best things they’ve heard in a long time. But if this four song experiment achieves the desired results, perhaps we’ll see a more elongated release soon enough. Because Kay Berkel and Daniel Romano have stoked an appetite for this olden style of country music that four songs just can’t satiate.

1 3/4 of 2 Guns Up.

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