CD Review // Natalie Hemby
Puxico (GetWrucke Productions)
Puxico is Natalie Hemby’s debut album, although she’s not new on the scene. Before releasing her own work, she wrote songs for a number of well-known country singers, from Toby Keith to Miranda Lambert.
By starting within such a polarizing musical genre, Hemby surely anticipates criticism for her works. She chooses to take the risks despite the vulnerabilities, and there’s respect that Hemby deserves for doing it.
Her voice is far from an absolute stereotype: there are times when it is soothing and dreamy. Hemby doesn’t exaggerate her accent and her vocals, and this measured response comes off effortlessly. The blend of these vocal characteristics adds a strong ambiance of authenticity to her songs.
This presence of authenticity is maintained throughout her score, especially since she deviates from country clichés in favor of memories. Each track paints vivid flashbacks that are filled with sincerity; but the lightness within her voice adds a gentle fantasy to them too. Her poetry combines verisimilitude and mystique to synthesize something uniquely personal.
The reassurance and condolence that her voice conveys captures the very essence of Puxico, Miss. thematically and musically. Hemby’s Puxico evokes a hazy nostalgia that listeners will find difficult to shake off long after the music has ended.