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Sonya Kitchell: Cold Day

The apex of my creative abilities at age 15 was a hackneyed, 500-word essay on the use of symbolism in The Catcher in the Rye. Nobody else, at least within my high school circle, was up to much either, beyond coping with the daily anxieties of adolescence. After all, what kid, still not old enough to drive, has it together enough to not only know the precise path they want to follow but is several years into the journey? Sonya Kitchell does. Still a teen when her debut, Cold Day (Velour), was released, the golden-haired singer-songwriter-guitarist from rural Massachusetts has studied voice with Sheila Jordan and Rebecca Parris, headlined the Special Olympics and composed some 100 songs. Cold Day, a 27 minute EP, contains six of those originals. Listening to such remarkably mature treatises on life and love as “Think of You,” “Fly Away,” “Clara” (inspired by Isabelle Allende’s House of Spirits) and her admirable condemnation of conspicuous consumption “Someday,” it’s obvious that Kitchell has spent considerable time in the company of the collected works of Joni Mitchell. As both singer and songwriter, her warm-cool confessional style is distinctly Mitchell-esque, demonstrating, to her credit, that her intent is to learn from the very best as she grows into her own voice. When that voice emerges, which, given the accelerated rate at which Kitchell seems to do everything, should be soon, watch out.

Originally Published