Artists like Michiko Egger are rare. Perhaps once in a long while- a decade, a generation, something like that. A guitar virtuoso and a young songwriter in the vein of James Taylor and Carly Simon, Egger can captivate in a variety of ways.
Egger is essentially a poet, with amazing skills on the guitar and a voice you’ll remember. At just 18, she already understands music theory and song structure better than artists two and three times her senior.
Her album, “Where Your Heart is” proposes a question, but after a few tours with this album, you know that query is directed right at you. Egger leaves her heart on her guitar strings in what could be one of the best albums to come from an independent artist in years.
This is an album. Not a mish-mash of singles geared to make money. The singular songs by themselves have staying power, but in succession, they have the most power. Songs such as “Mulberry Breakdown” and “Best of Me” tell the story of a young mind experiencing the worst of love. Other tracks the likes of “Warrior” and “He Said” show the other side of love. At other times Egger showcases her classical guitar training. She’s like Pat Travers with the songwriting of a John Mayer or Michelle Branch.
For a teenager to pen tales such as these and to simultaneously shred on occasion shows a natural talent that has been respected and cultured. The brevity and polish of the guitar work and song writing is enough for Egger to gain your ears’ trust. It’s her voice that essentially seals the deal.
Egger doesn’t sound like anyone. Some may classify her high pitch as a condition of youth, but it’s just her. When singing an upbeat ballad, she turns into a lovesick teen, evoking a smile out of her listener. When crooning about the ugly side of love, she’s reflective and relatable in a way that would make Mayer blush. Whether you’re in the middle of a break-up or reveling in unmistakable love, Egger’s tunes can add a soundtrack to that journey.
That is ultimately what these 13 songs represent. It’s up to you to define how her music will affect you, but for Egger, “Where Your Heart Is” is an audio rendition of her formative years that confirms her all but assured future success.
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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