Singer-songwriter Tawny Ellis is a communicator whose expertly rendered recordings give her a realm of optimum clarity and depth to plumb the depths of human relationships. Her strong, forthright voice lends a haunting/ethereal quality to “Pretend Love” which explores a physical relation- ship that’s destined to avoid love and commitment. Another mellow song, “Moonshine,” adds a majestic choir to the mix for a song that suggests a Celtic lineage. “Before All This Trouble” exudes a country/ Old West vibe, all of it complemented by a backup group whose tone and timing delivers a lovely pedal steel whine. There’s lots to praise here, but we wish Ellis’ hooks were sharper, more memorable.
Seeking: Film/TV, Label