It’s hard to part with Kenna Mae’s Blue Darlin as it continually relates with to the fear and insecurity of life. Mae’s voice is magical and touching, as her storytelling doesn’t push the listener away with her own struggles, but rather welcomes yours alongside and, with empathy, takes you with on an 11-track exploration into your own head as she journeys through hers.
The depth and richness of Mae’s songs are not built by the instrumentation on the record, but by her distinct, beautiful voice. She explains folk and blues with powerful words, along with a comfortable, acoustic guitar. The music on Blue Darlin brings out the emotions hidden behind Mae’s mask, awakening the blurred memories that come off nearly lost in her mind.
“Question” starts peacefully with Mae’s voice. The softness of Mae’s songwriting flows from the start with the finger-picked chords and melody-focused songs. However, you start recognizing the power conveyed through the firmness of her voice. The melody whispers as it tells about the struggle, confusion, and experience. You can’t help humming along the it while traveling internally through your own memories.
The most fascinating part of Mae’s music is that while it’s full of storytelling, the melody and rhythm always carry the magic of connecting audience to the music and bringing them to the boundary of reality. The sentimental tune of “Empty Bottles,” again, like other tracks on Blue Darlin, creates resonance between the musician and her audience. Whether it’s loss and hope, or peace and power, you can always see ingenious contradictions in her music, making Blue Darlin even more complex.
Mae’s unparalleled, beautiful voice and the smooth, flexible transitions between notes on guitar are the clear strengths on this record, as the singer-songwriter makes each note sound so natural that we forget the settled structure of the record. There’s passion and sincerity in the lyrics, and the album’s spirit breaks all the barriers both in our emotion, and seemingly Mae’s too.