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Thursday, October 11, 2012

May Stands Still - When You Come Home

May Stands Still - When You Come Home
2012, Milestone Music Studios

Los Angeles based singer/songwriter Emily Herndon is the driving force behind May Stands Still.  Working with a group of brilliant musicians, Herndon creates edgy folk music that blurs the line between folk and rock and roll.  Her lyrical aptitude, refreshing honesty and musical surety have made her a favorite on the west coast, and she is a top-5 artist in L.A. on ReverbNation.  May Stands Still received critical praise for their 2010 debut EP, Matter Of Time, but she raises the bar on the soon to be released When You Come Home, a collection of eleven literate and heartfelt folk/pop songs that have staying power.
May Stands Still starts off with the smart and peppy melancholy of "Gotta See". This is a mixed bag of emotions that is mildly tragic and utterly moving. "Wild" is an ode to someone who is able to create a sort of social magic from the stage. Once again May Stands Still wallows in deep and conflicting emotions and an utterly tuneful melody. "I Want You" is a classic song of love and longing that ends Ina wonderfully uncertain resolution. The song is well written and artfully performed; a definite highlight.

"New Groove" carries it with the energy and motivation brought on by new love, as well as the angst it brings. This is a nice snapshot at the inner thoughts that swirl around the fall. "Soldier" carries a dark beauty; informed by some Celtic influenced violin and some amazing vocal harmonies. This is a moving piece that will haunt you, particularly if you, like the song's narrator, are waiting for someone you know and love to return from deployment overseas. May Stands Still takes a surprising turn on "Make Me", building a solid groove in a song of self confidence and rugged determination.

"Sleeping Alone" is a beautiful moment of indecision and vulnerability where she explores her fear of dropping her defenses to let love in and her lack of fear of loneliness. "Wherever You Are" is a one sided conversation with a loved one who has passed away that communicates in real and heartfelt terms the worries that follow in the wake of loss.

"Raina" is a love song for the sort of free spirits everyone roots for here. The emotional lines blur here, as Herndon sings from her melancholy depths of real joy. "Falling" explores another aspect of happiness. Falling in love is compared to dreams, with reality the waking up. The orchestration here is beautiful, and the emotional weight of the song is wrapped in a beauty that keeps it buoyant. When You Come Home closes in appropriately melancholy tones with the lovely and quietly heartbreaking "Blue June".   Emily Herndon is at her best here, and the song rolls out her heartbreak like honey from a jar.

May Stands Still makes a mark on listeners.  Emily Herndon sings with the same quiet reserve and vocal beauty that made Margo Timmons and Cowboy Junkies famous.  At the same time, there’s a world of emotion going on in Herndon’s voice, which is rich and a pleasure to listen to.  The songwriting here is certainly worth taking note of as well.  May Stands Still has a lot to say, and wraps each story in such beauty you’re likely to be transfixed.
Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about May Stands Still at 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Emily Herndon and May Stand Still are a wonderful and talented group. I have enjoyed every song they have performed. I am so excited and honored to personally know Emily. May their succuss continue.
Jacqueline R.