Maryville based musician and UT alumna Kelsi Walker released her first full-length album “Nervous Kid” last month, and it is delightful.
Kelsi Walker has been writing and playing music for almost three years with nine singles under her belt. While the singles are good in their own right, it’s about time we got a full-length album from the budding musician. Thankfully, she delivered a great, if not slightly repetitive and short, alternative/indie album.
“Nervous Kid” feels like something that one would put on in the background while they study or have a chill dinner party. Each of the songs carries a peaceful, relaxing tune that feels as if it can lull you away into a sleepy trance.
One of my major complaints with the album is that most of the songs feel much too similar. Sometimes I had to check my phone after a few minutes to see if the song playing was new or if the last song was just really long. If you really dig the chill vibes the album puts out, this might not be an issue for you, but I generally like to have some variety in my music.
The album reaches its low point right in the middle with “Falling.” While not particularly a bad song, it did not impress me or really stand out in any way. However, things quickly get better, as the last half of the album outshines the rest.
The highlight of the entire album is without a doubt the final song, “Somewhere Between.” The seven-minute ballad is probably the slowest song on the album, but it has just the right amount of downtime and upbeat sections to keep you invested from beginning to end. Walker’s powerful voice is best highlighted on this track as well.
I can’t review this album without shouting out Walker’s band, starting with guitarist Cody Barnhart. The album completely relies on his riffs for most of its runtime, and, especially in the album’s opener “Care Too Much,” he sounds amazing. Christopher Barret Riley adds some wonderful bass and keys into the mix, with drums by Joey Jennings bringing the band together.
Although it isn’t technically part of the music, I must mention the delightful album cover. I knew I was getting into something I would enjoy before I even pressed play. Artist Jon Pemberton outdid himself with this album’s art, along with the art for Walker’s past couple singles.
Sadly, what really keeps this album from being something special is its lack of song diversity. Most of the songs on “Nervous Kid” feel almost exactly the same, and, even though it only has a runtime of 32 minutes, I found myself bored several times.
Even though the album lacks diversity, it doesn’t lack in quality. It’s still a good listen and is something I’m sure I’ll find myself putting on while I study in the future.
“Nervous Kid” solidifies Kelsi Walker’s role as an artist to look out for if you enjoy indie music. When one of my only complaints with an album is that its too short, and I want to hear more, is that really a bad thing?