Alchemy by Karen Dezelle Review

Singer-songwriter Karen Dezelle released her latest track Alchemy recently, showcasing her indie-folk style that her supporters have come to know and love. The NYC-based singer has already released two EPs Lost and Found and Bloom, Unfold, Wither, as well as performed in some of the most famous venues in America. Alchemy is written with the thought of infatuation in mind, describing how transformative it can be within the self. The single itself is our first taste of her upcoming EP Room for Two, that has more of an alternative-country and Americana sound than her previous projects.

The first thing that struck me with this track was the synthesised string sound at the beginning. For me it brought a middle eastern feel to a song that was decidedly different to the grass-roots folky style I was expecting. Of course, the main element of the song is the indie-folk, with a fairly simple chord structure which undoubtedly serves the purpose of highlighting the vocals and melody line. I found the transition of synth sounds to acoustic sounds a little rough but very close to being smooth, just need either slightly less synth or more acoustic towards the end and beginning of each section. At the very end of the song, all other instruments (including vocals) fade out and all that’s left is the beat which I thought was a great ending. However, I thought the beat itself was too loud which is probably moe of a production issue than anything else.

Dezelle employs her perfectly folk tone in Alchemy, with a soul-crunching bluesy melody on the lyrics ‘Who’s to say where it’s going’. I especially enjoyed the reverberating layers of vocal melodies in the last thirty seconds of the song, a fitting way to end a track that was so reliant on a unique vocal tone. My only criticism of Dezelle’s vocal performance would be how harsh her Rs were. Being well-aware that this single (and the EP it features on) is influenced by alternative country explains the emphasis on the letter R, I believe it juxtaposes too much with her vocal tone.

All in all, the track definitely peaked my interest. There were many different influences evident in the music and Dezelle’s vocal tone was a stunning feature of the song. With a few minor tweaks it could be an amazing song, I give it 8/10.

Listen to her single here

Check out my interview with Karen here

For more info on the singer visit her website


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