(Independent Release) Putting an intimate spin on the brand of folky jubilation made popular locally by groups like Family and Friends, singer-songwriter Sarah Zúñiga makes earnest, anthemic music that’s both celebratory and reflective. On her debut EP, the guitarist serves up seven pleasantly crafted nuggets of melodic folk-pop that rise above typical coffeehouse fodder thanks to Zúñiga’s strong voice and thoughtful arrangements. Particularly effective are the downtuned title track and rousing full-band closer, “Start Again.”
The highlight, undoubtedly, is “People Do Crazy Things for Love,” a sweet, stirring tune that earned Zúñiga a spot as a finalist for last year’s Vic Chesnutt Songwriter of the Year Award and remains her most striking song to date. Catchy and with copious commercial appeal, it’s not hard to imagine the track soundtracking a network drama or blowing up adult-contempo airwaves. Its inclusion here has a slight if unintended diminishing effect on the EP as a whole, though its creator’s potential is evident throughout.
JOHN SWILLEY Local songwriter who blends gritty Southern rock, sultry R&B and Delta blues.
SARAH ZUNIGA Talented local singer-songwriter with a sweet, strong voice. See Record Review on p. 14.
ASPEN ANONDA Athens-based indie-pop singer-songwriter.