In advance of her in-progress full-length debut, Nashville-based singer-songwriter Sam Pinkerton has released an EP, downloadable via Bandcamp. The three-song sampler presents ample evidence of why this young artist is sure to find great success. Her music is rooted in traditional acoustic-based folk pop, yet sounds strikingly contemporary. Those with a taste for the likes of Norah Jones, Ingrid Michaelson, or A Fine Frenzy are likely to be hooked by Pinkerton’s melodic, emotional tunes.
“I Will Never Fall in Love with You,” a duet with Chase Lawrence, leads off the EP. Its mid-tempo gentleness immediately establishes Pinkerton’s style, with a gorgeous, stick-in-your-head refrain. After trading verses, Pinkerton and Lawrence blend beautifully at the song’s end. “Calling You Out” again demonstrates her grasp of songcraft, climaxing with an ascending melodic line graced by a hint of vocal grit (I’ve heard her cut loose with rock-oriented abandon elsewhere; the girl has serious stylistic range).
The EP concludes with a nostalgic look at an ex, “Someone I Used to Love,” who’s “Just a dream/Just a memory/In a box atop my shelf.” These songs are deceptively low-key creations. Part of their charm is their plain-spoken unpretentiousness. But with repeated listening, the hooks solidify, anchored by Pinkerton’s instantly comforting voice. She clearly understands the value of restraint, paradoxically capturing listeners’ attention by remaining so guilelessly unassuming.
Pinkerton is currently working on her first full-length album, expected to be out this fall. Anyone interested in backing the project (and securing a download or physical copy for a nominal pledge) should visit her Kickstarter page while it’s still active. The campaign closes on July 12. The goal has been reached but additional funding will be applied to marketing costs.