There’s something hauntingly familiar about Emily Wryn’s sound; something that almost dares you to compare her to the greats. In Head on Straight, the 23-year-old Lompoc dweller has a record that cleanly captures her voice first and foremost. Hers is a combination of breathless sighs, gentle power, and a high register that tugs at your heartstrings every time it breaks. “Fire” is almost textbook in its gentle guitar plucking, but Wryn’s here-then-gone vocal stretches elevate the whole thing to an almost ethereal level. Conversely, title track “Head on Straight” goes the more orchestrated route, with glockenspiel and muffled percussion driving the whole thing toward home. With the keen ear of producer/arranger Randall Sena at the helm, though, Wryn never gets lost in the mix and comes away with an EP that speaks loudly of a bright future. Wryn plays Howlin’ Byroon’s Music Exchange (107 S. H St., Lompoc) on Friday, February 10 at 8 p.m. Call (805) 736-3111 for info.
Head on Straight