Quinn Marston: Can You Hear Me See Me Now?

With every one of the eight songs measuring shorter than three minutes, young singer-songwriter Quinn Marston and her producer, Tom Beaujour, have crafted an album that is short and varyingly sweet. Much of Marston’s vocal approach makes it sound like she isn’t trying to connect to the listener, shrugging her shoulders despondent and uncertain.

Her voice seems to stop short at critical moments, retreating timidly from would be crescendos. It’s really too bad, because her backing band, including Tim Foljahn on guitar, offer some very catchy rhythms, especially on “Articulation” and the title track, that would make you smile if you weren’t so busy wanting more.

Marston’s lyrics come off as sleepily whimsical poems, but the imagery on tracks like “The Fish” is simply alien, a flawed take on David Byrne’s eccentric genius. Rhymes are forced into breathlessly twisting phrases to conform to a scheme, and serve to further disorient the listener. Marston might be young, but she could’ve taken the time to review and revise.

I guess that would be worthy advice for the whole album. Vocals need to reach the same league as the instrumentals, and lyrics should be more fleshed out. For right now though, I’d leave Can You Hear Me See Me Now? for the coffeehouse rotation.

In A Word: Disagreeable