By Jim Hagerty
Rockford-area native, singer-songwriter Emily Hurd, will release her sixth CD, Daytime Fireflies, Friday, May 21, at the Prairie Street Brewhouse, 200 Prairie St., downtown Rockford.
Hurd is a is an award-winning songwriter and performer and has made a permanent name for herself with her memorable piano motifs and rich, vibrant vocal arrangements. With her brand of soul, folk rock, blues and jazz, Hurd was a winner at the 2009 International Songwriting Contest and the Unisong International and John Lennon songwriting competitions in 2008.
Daytime Fireflies is a combination of chamber pop and indie rock, Hurd said. Produced and engineered by John Abbey in Chicago, the album features lo-fi mic techniques, precise percussion, melodic bass lines, dirty-sounding acoustic piano, and a snappy string quartet.
“We’re so proud of how we captured these songs,” Hurd said. “We can’t wait to share them.”
While the new project may be received as a departure from classic Hurd material, which dates back to 2005’s Lines, it still packs the same lyrical punches and as much folk as it can handle, leaving room for Hurd’s soulful arrangement.
“I’m not sure that I was intentionally trying to throw my fans a curve ball,” Hurd added. “Lyrically, not much has changed, and these songs are still folk songs. To quote Wilco when they were making Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, ‘If you don’t have any sonic landscape behind you, everything turns into a folk song.’ I guess my genre will continue to change as we change the landscape behind the songs. We used a soul spin on folk for Cache, because those folk songs were asking for a horn section. The Fireflies tunes were asking for a string section. So, we went with what we thought was best for the integrity of the music, and I think it really paid off in the overall honest originality of the album.”
Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door, or in advance at the Rockford Area Arts Council, 713 E. State St.
Damion Davis and Brent Shelton of Mana Kintorso will open the show. Hurd will be backed byJordan McDonald, Aaron Biby, Ben Tuula and Jillian Hicks. More information can be found at emilyhurd.com.
From the May 19-25, 2010 issue