I just like listening to Karen Dezelle. Everything she does, every song she writes and records is a glowing jewel. Karen knows how to deftly stimulate the pleasure centers of my brain through my ears. Some songs are happy, some are sad, all are personal, all are universal. When one of her songs comes up in my playlist, I often have to squeeze my eyes closed for a few seconds and just let her wash over me.
Karen’s voice is that color you can only get just after the sun sinks below the ocean on a clear day. Warm, red-yellow and blue, soft and moving slowly to moonlit silver. Her songwriting lavishes in the same pallet – delicate, intense, painted with the red of her heart blood and the blue of life’s oxygen. The combination of her poetry and her singing brings the gift of tears, cries both of joy and of sadness. The words to the title song from her EP, Lost and Found have remained with me since I first heard them:
May you run til your heart is fearless./May you roar when your love is fierce.
May you sing when your heart’s content./May you rest easy. /May you rest easy./ Let us rest easy.
Lost and Found is a smooth, penetrating, solitary journey through her soul, birthed with lavish vocals and deceptively simple orchestration that ranges across the emotional landscape. In “Susie’s Song“ she’s happy and she makes you happy singing along with her as she “just can’t wait for the next part”. In “Fearlessly”, a deep thrumming guitar is the ocean her voice floats on and frames the painfully honest lyrics in soft, steely gold. “You and Me” is hypnotic, a song to put on repeat and listen as she celebrates a love that moved beyond the chemistry of two people to the merging of two souls. “Quitter”, is pure soulful pop, but Dezelle offers it in her own way as she tells her lover she is leaving, Maybe it’s all just a matter of will./No I’m walking, no I’m walking, no I’m walking out still.
All of this went through my mind when I received her latest single, “Love You Anyway” released last week at Hollywood’s Hotel Café. The lovely, vulnerable voice is there with the LA-based singer/songwriter’s trademark sundown warmth and the rising tone of silver blue. The lyrics are personal, honest and intense as they unfold a story of the last day of a love, of learning to love from a distance, of forgiveness and acceptance, of self-reflection and determination. It’s time to walk away/But I will love you anyway. As with every song she writes, “Love You Anyway” triggers an emotional response because it is an experience we all have had. As we listen to “Love You Anyway , it tugs out tears of sadness and resignation, but from eyes open to the future.
Like the EP Lost and Found, Karen Dezelle’s new single, “Love You Anyway”, is a jewel glowing with soft, internal fire – a gift to her fans and her soon- to- be fans everywhere. I can only hope that she presents us with many, many more such gifts.
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