Free and legal MP3: Florence Glen (smartly expressed, acoustic-based)

Everything is crisp and succinct, even as more instrumental diversity is involved than one might initially expect in an intimate, singer/songwriter setting.


“Let Me Run” – Florence Glen

I’ll be the first to admit there’s a fine line between acoustic-based singer/songwriter music that inspires and acoustic-based singer/songwriter music that bores. The basic sonic atmosphere is pretty much the same—guitar, voice—and yet some songs fly and some songs sink.

“Let Me Run” is a flyer, and one of its primary assets is its simplest: this song is super concise. Check out the introduction—we hear one iteration of the deftly-played central guitar lick, seven seconds in all, and then a three-second pause, and then we’re right into the verse. This is not the trivial detail it may at first seem; precisely because acoustic-based songs are often stripped of most aural texture they really should progress without delay. Many don’t; Glen wins our hearts and ears quickly by simply opening her mouth. In all, the song runs but 3:05—a healthy length, to my ears.

But “concise” doesn’t just mean “short”; it means intelligently compressed and expressed. One of “Let Me Run”‘s finest features is its production quality, in terms of both clarity and variety of sound. Everything is crisp and succinct, even as more instrumental diversity is involved than one might initially expect in this singer/songwriter-y setting. In addition to percussion we get adroitly incorporated strings and even, I think, a tasteful hint of electronics. Nothing intrudes and yet we are soon enough in the middle of a fully formed composition.

Best of all is the natural instrument on display—Glen’s dusky alto, with its fetching lilt (counterbalancing the darker tones of her lower register) and a rhythmic precision built into her enunciation (I am for some reason especially taken with how she sings the word “together” at 0:52).

“Let Me Run” is a song from Glen’s EP Spread Them Eggs, released in May. You can check out the full EP on SoundCloud. Glen is based in London. This is her first fully-produced recording; a previous, self-recorded digital EP came out in 2013.

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