Despite the otherwise polished veneer of Tanya Gallagher’s latest EP “One Hand on My Heart,” there’s a dark undertone to the wonderfully sung and produced collection of songs that provides a perfectly punctuated boldness and courageousness. Gallagher’s latest showcases a sublime ability to straddle both camps of Florida Southern gothic and traditional country singer-songwriter dynamism. Still, “One Hand On My Heart” offers a little something for everybody – from bouncy, bistro-appropriate tunes to mysterious electric organ-laden tracks hiding some hurt.
Opening with perhaps the EP’s strongest track, “Dark Side” sets up listeners for a taste of everything Gallagher has to offer. Armed with slinky guitar chops, gorgeously restrained vocals and an instrumentation that leads one by the hand into the unknown, Gallagher not only makes her presence known, but makes her brand known as well. Even the more traditional offering of “Barren Land” realized Gallagher’s abilities to co-exist alongside the Jewels and the Gillian Welches of the world, releasing a powerful yet friendly image of modern Americana.
What is perhaps most prominent aspect of Gallagher’s latest is her ability to showcase her innate intelligence and knowledge on record. Without ever dipping into pretension or elitism, “One Hand On My Heart” is filled with environmental wisdom, unsurprisingly due to Gallagher’s background in cartography and forestry. The otherwise fanciful sounding “Dolphin In The Snow” works so well because it presents a rich and colorful juxtaposition of imagery and understanding of coexisting yet disparate ideas. Well-read, well learned and furnished with loads of talent, Gallagher’s voice is not one to be missed.