Review: Tenille Townes – The Lemonade Stand

Tenille Townes

The first time I heard Tenille Townes, I knew she was the real deal. Her proper major-label debut release was an all-acoustic EP titled The Living Room Worktapes, and it was a masterpiece. Townes has a strong but unusual voice that conveys depths of empathy and emotion, as well as a talent for crafting songs that ask deep existential questions about what we’re doing here, how we connect with one another, and what the afterlife might look like, among other things. These talents are impressive in any context, but there’s something about hearing them over a sparse acoustic arrangement that makes them all the more jaw-dropping. Listening to The Living Room Worktapes captures the way it feels to hear a complete unknown at an open mic night—just voice, guitar, and unbelievable songwriting—and be absolutely bowled over by their talent. While just four songs long, that release left me with the highest of hopes for what Townes’ career might hold. Here was an artist with Lori McKenna’s talent for storytelling and understanding of the human condition, paired with a Patty Griffin-like voice that could cut you right to the soul.

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