Tiny Horse

CD Name: 
Darkly Sparkly (EP)
Music Link: 
Album Cover URL: 
<div><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">One horse. Very small. Packs a wallop.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">Chris Meck and Abigail Henderson have given way more than their lion&rsquo;s share to the Kansas City music scene. Whether through past efforts like </span><a href="http://www.myspace.com/thegaslights"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">The Gaslights</span></a><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;"> or </span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/atlanticfadeout?fref=ts"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">Atlantic Fadeout</span></a><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;"> or being some of the driving forces behind the </span><a href="http://miwestmusicfound.org"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">Midwest Music Foundation</span></a><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">, </span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/apocalypsemeow08?fref=ts"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">Apocalypse Meow</span></a><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">, and </span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/midcoasttakeover?fref=ts"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">MidCoast Takeover</span></a><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">, they should receive the deep admiration of anyone that sets foot on a stage in this town. Their latest musical endeavor, </span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/tinyhorsemusic?fref=ts"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">Tiny Horse</span></a><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">, is no exception. <i>Darkly Sparkly</i> is a gorgeous collection of songs.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">In the simplest of descriptions, the duo plays dark Americana. Ticklers of atmospheric instrumentation, provided by Meck, gambol upon the background, occasionally throwing the ball over the fence to take the melody reins or mingle with Henderson&rsquo;s haunting vocals, but are quick to slink back to further delighting the sonic landscape.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">But as everyone&rsquo;s mother will tell you, life is not simple. Tiny Horse is the unfortunate poster band for this sentiment. You probably know the back story, but in case not, </span><a href="http://www.kansascity.com/2012/10/31/3892754/still-singing-still-swinging.html"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">here is a link</span></a><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;"> to an article from late 2012 by Timothy Finn over at <i>The Kansas City Star </i>that paints the picture.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">Especially in that light, there are next to no words I can come up with to adequately describe the impact provided by the vocal performance. Henderson is able to speak from a place that few of us have ever been and she seemingly welcomes the opportunity to embrace these experiences and provide the listener with a small bathroom window into what it all has come to mean for her. Her voice is so beautifully imperfect&mdash;an ideal combination of coying, sweet and sassy as worked upon by the old rusty wood rasp from your grandfather&rsquo;s tool shed.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">Her lyrics say it best:</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">(reviewer&rsquo;s note: these are the best transcriptions these old damaged musician ears can figure out)</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">From &ldquo;Ride&rdquo;:</span></div> <div><i><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">&ldquo;There&rsquo;s no one left to ask, pictures of the past just sit in boxes underneath the bed</span></i></div> <div><i><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">Money&rsquo;s just a noose, the old excuse that fooled you into what you did instead.</span></i></div> <div><i><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">Ride with me tonight. Let&rsquo;s remember what it means to chase a little something.&rdquo;</span></i></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">From &ldquo;Ghost&rdquo;:</span></div> <div><i><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">&ldquo;Why do you need me? Why do you want me? Cause I&rsquo;m not done here. Leave me alone.</span></i></div> <div><i><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">Take your old songs. Take your old singers. Leave me to write. The only world I&rsquo;ve known.&rdquo;</span></i></div> <div><i>&nbsp;</i></div> <div><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">From &ldquo;Nashville Parthenon&rdquo;:</span></div> <div><i><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s been so dark since you left Nashville. I&rsquo;ve read the same books again and again.</span></i></div> <div><i><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">Makes me wish I wasn&rsquo;t bashful when it comes to other men.</span></i></div> <div><i><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">But if I could have my way, darling, you&rsquo;d come home.&rdquo;</span></i></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size:10.0pt;Times New Roman&quot;;">&ldquo;Softly We Fall&rdquo; is a tender ballad reminiscent of the final song of a junior high school barn dance somewhere in dusty West Texas circa 1958. Meck doesn&rsquo;t offer his voice up too often on these tracks, but they are used to great effectiveness here. His mimicking vocals follow along on the chorus, <i>&ldquo;Softly we fall into each other&rsquo;s arms. It was your fault when we kissed</i>,&rdquo; further adding to the nostalgic remembrances of adolescent courting. His guitar works also particularly stands out on this track, beautifully crafted and culminating with a simple yet scathing solo to carry the song home.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <p><span style="line-height: 20px;">All in all, the music presented by Tiny Horse is just simply triumphant, the work of carefully seasoned (and hardened) musicians, also including multi-instrumentalist Cody Wyoming, bassist Zach Phillips, and drummer Matt Richey. It is sorrow meant to be remembered, celebrated, and enjoyed. The EP&rsquo;s title, </span><i>Darkly Sparkly</i><span style="line-height: 20px;">, seems most appropriate. The KC music scene would be a much darker and less sparkly place without the efforts of Meck and Henderson.</span></p> <p><em>--Zach Hodson</em>&nbsp;</p>