As I write this it's snowing and the world outside is completely silent and serene. It is quiet inside too and I’m hiding away, watching the snow fall and listening to Mackenzie Shivers’ new album The Unkindness.
I first discovered Mackenzie's music in 2016 when she released her Living In My Head EP. At the time I compared her to Kate Bush and Florence Welch and since then I’ve very much been looking forward to her releasing her latest full-length album. It is finally here, released today and The Unkindness was worth the wait.
The reason I'm hiding away from the world on a snow day is that I've been feeling fatigued lately, weary of a constant cycle of bad news and fear. Mackenzie gets that and her album is music for the soul, a salve for a broken heart. Armed with a crystal-clear voice and piercing piano notes, The Unkindness is at times uplifting, tragic, redemptive and rousing. From the utterly moving "Ravens" and "The Canyon", to the heart-wrenching singles "Believe" and "The Unkindness", to my personal favourite "mr. jones", this is an album of stories and journeys. It is in this narrative style that Mackenzie begins to remind me of Tori Amos and Elton John.
I love that The Unkindness inspires me so. I've noticed how it starts the synapses firing in my brain and makes me determined to conquer the world. That is especially true of "Phoenix" for I too was told I didn't belong and I simply bypassed that gatekeeper to get where I am today.
They say it’s not mine for the taking So watch me burn Like a phoenix I’ll come back To take it all
Mackenzie Shivers is such an exciting artist and I can't wait to see what she does next. I give The Unkindness a superb five out of five stars and recommend to lovers of folk music and fans of Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Aoife O’Donovan and Olivia Chaney.