Amber Grace Joyner fits right in with the burgeoning pop-rock roster of Charleston’s Hearts & Plugs — mostly because her music is very much a product of the Holy City’s tight-knit music community. Brave Baby drummer Wolfgang Zimmerman is a clear creative force in the producer’s chair, layering the singer’s lush and gauzy indie pop tunes with offbeat synths and understated drum parts. The arrangements give Joyner’s evocative vocals plenty of room to sway, oozing comfortably through heartbroken tales and brittle kiss-offs.
Joyner’s voice alternately drips sadness and sensuality, allowing her presence to range from the post-modern cabaret of Lana Del Rey to the dreamy refinement of Feist and Neko Case. But whatever the circumstance, she provides almost all of her tunes with an indelible and immediate hook.
But as good as it is, this debut EP takes too many first steps. Bouncy piano numbers like “Other Girls” and “Love of Mine” clash somewhat with the plaintive and adventurous rhythms of “Young Girls” and “Waste of Time,” while the ethereal New Wave rocker “Holy” goes in a different direction entirely — one that doesn’t fit Joyner’s crisp pipes nearly so well.
Still, when everything clicks — as it does on “Be Good,” which balances its jittery beat and balladeering lilt with remarkable ease — it becomes clear that Joyner is capable of capturing indie pop perfection.
This Week @ Social
Edward Shouse performs Friday the 21st, and on Saturday Absolut Vodka presents A Night in Sweden, with specialty Absolut drinks and live music by Christian Slick. Follow us!
A Re-Imagined Christmas Carol at Trustus
Watch as five actors perform all the characters of Charles Dickens’ classic story and create a live musical score in a production that had audiences and critics raving last year. Get your tickets here!
Going someplace cool this weekend?
Let The Backpacker help you go lightweight, comfortable and in style! Patagonia, Prana, Merrell, The North Face and more! Click for location, hours and more info.
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
Surreal Innovation Salon Now Open
Columbia’s newest total care spa is now taking appointments and offering $10 off services $25 or more for first time clients. Location, hours, and more info here.
Make Your Own Beer and Wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop: 736 St. Andrews Road.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season: