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A Girl Called Eddy: Tears All Over Town

Dave Heaton

A Girl Called Eddy

Tears All Over Town

Label: Le Grand Magistery
US Release Date: 2001-07-31

The story behind A Girl Called Eddy's debut EP Tears All Over Town, at least according to the press materials for it, is that it came after her demo made its way to Matthew Jacobson of Le Grand Magistery, who wrote her a drunken email about how much her music moved him, calling it "some of the most beautiful and emotionally charged yet melancholy and moving music I've heard in ages." With some releases I might think that story's either made up or exaggerated, except for the fact that I've heard the five songs that make up Tears All Over Town, so I understand. This is something quite special.

The first track, "Heartache," opens with 30 seconds of A Girl Called Eddy singing a cappella. It's the perfect way of getting listeners to really hear her voice right from the start. And that voice is too gorgeous to describe -- a mix of torch singer melancholy, movie-palace glamour and bittersweet romance. As the title Tears All Over Town indicates, A Girl Called Eddy is crying her way through her songs, but doing so with panache as well as heart.

"Heartache" is a piano ballad where the heartache of the title is less a temporary affliction than an ever-present shadow. From there, the EP goes through four other moving, superbly crafted works of pop inflected with jazz and folk elements. On each song, A Girl Called Eddy dwells on loneliness and despair, without being completely overwhelmed by them. On the second track, "The Soundtrack of Your Life", she explores the disconnect between the dreamed world of films and real life. Oveer a musical track influenced by Brazilian jazz, she sings, "sealed it with a kiss, but it was never supposed to end like this". The soundtrack to the film of real life is a melancholy one, one always tinged with notes of regret and sorrow.

"Girls Can Really Tear You Up Inside" is the clever title to a gentle but firm interrogation of someone running away from feelings. The last two tracks are a slow, pretty cover of Stephen Bishop's "The Same Old Tears" and "Fading . . .", the most orchestral song on the record, a very Blue Nile-ish lush pop number. The sentiment of that last song, "It's all fading . . .", might not be the happy Hollywood ending love stories are supposed to have, but it captures a genuine feeling that happiness is always slipping away. On Tears All Over Town, A Girl Called Eddy makes quite an impressive, heartstring-tugging entrance onto the musical stage; with her sublimely expressive, sensitive voice she channels universal emotions right into listeners' souls, making them feel as only the best musicians can do.

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