Gena Rose Bruce sounds completely at ease on the four tracks that make up her new EP, Mad Love. While neither the songs nor the way they’re presented break any new ground, the results are certainly pleasing.
Although just 22 years old, Bruce is a very confident songwriter, and with a voice pristine and powerful, she broods, aches and glides over the EP’s emotional terrain.
Mad Love was recorded live with producer Steven Schram, who augments the tracks with double-tracked vocals, heavy reverb and a little tambourine here and there. The production suits the material very well, giving a distinct nod to the 1960s. However, the fact this feels like it was made in a day with little embellishment means that all the tracks sound quite similar to one another. Watching Bruce and band live, their gentle urgency would no doubt maintain your attention, but the same can’t be said for the recorded listening experience.
‘Good Thing’, the single, is a nice song if not overly memorable. But the title track is the real gem; a powerful, sultry ballad, which Bruce imbues with so much feeling it sounds as if she’s about to take off towards the end.
It’s a great song and a terrific performance, which signals a promising future for Bruce.
Mad Love by Gena Rose Bruce has been released independently.