Whisper Roaring aka Brittany McQuinn is a Canadian singer/songwriter who recently released her debut entitled From Basements to Rooftops. She says her earliest influences were Disney movie soundtracks, Nintendo games and an incredible blues pianist that played at her church. I can’t really see me much of that influence on her album but it doesn’t matter because the songwriting is exceptional. What’s even more impressive is that she wrote these songs when she was a teenager. It’s actually hard to believe but it makes a little more sense when you learn that she started writing songs at the age of six.
The songs have an ample amount of instrumentation but it never feels crowded. In fact there is tons of space for her voice thanks in part to the stellar production and recording quality. There is a soft, delicate yet playful quality to these songs. It fits her singing style. Speaking of her voice she can sing like a bird. She knows when to push her voice and when not to and you can hear the nuances of her inflections throughout the album.
Things get going with “Be Heard.” Rolling snares, orchestral strings and what sounds like an electric piano come marching forward. Within the first minute you can tell McQuinn has some serious chops. It’s a hopeful song that slowly rises but what I really enjoyed was the fact that it doesn’t go for a huge grandiose sound at any point, which would have been predictable.
McQuinn displays her versatility right away with the next song entitled “Relieve Me Free.” The song has more percussive elements and feels light and playful. It’s also quite catchy with fantastic overlapping vocal harmonies.
“Joshua” is so soft and serene it could be a lullaby while “I Wonder” is a minimal song revolving around guitar, orchestral strings and her vocals. “Tomfoolery” was a highlight that is lively, upbeat and features some excellent stand up bass. She closes with the lush “It’s Just Us,” which of any song on the album feels as if it could be a Disney song.
Make no doubt about it that these are pop songs. Suffice it to say McQuinn has the talent and songwriting skills to be competitive with the current pop stars. A little bit of marketing and luck and who knows what can happen.
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