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“Pictures” - Christy | Review

The third single from the Glaswegian singer songwriter's upcoming EP, Pictures is a gorgeous, tender and heartfelt piano ballad showcasing his uniquely gentle and immensely moving falsetto vocals.

A piano-based ballad that showcases Christy’s stunning vocals in a beautiful stripped back arrangement. This song is a message to a past love, a theme that carries across his releases thus far. The track is focused on the heartbreaking process of drifting apart from each other. “Pictures” feels like a serenade, like Christy is singing directly to you. Every creak of the piano stool, every breath between vocal lines, and every delicate positioning of the fingers as Christy play’s the piano through refreshing chord changes, taking you on his journey through love, loss, and heartache. All the while Christy’s uniquely gentle and immensely moving falsetto vocals sail over the top. “I hope these words will help you realize” he sings, “I don’t know you anymore”.

Talking of the forthcoming EP, Christy said “These songs are everything I have been through in the last few years...My first release needed to be real, genuine – either people like it or they don’t, but at least I have been 100% myself and I’m not sacrificing anything to be a pop star. They are sad songs but I wanted them to sound beautiful.”

At twenty-four, Christy O’Donnell has already lived out several unlikely dreams. He’s busked the streets of Glasgow making £400 a day. He’s been in a boy band, acted in a Disney TV series, and even climbed Arthur’s Seat with Rufus Wainwright… But beneath the young Glaswegian’s many incarnations is a serious musician about to unleash his first EP. Though intensely personal, this is not simple, singer-songwriter territory: the effervescent O’Donnell counts Ray Charles, John Martyn, and Chet Baker as among his biggest musical influences.

O’Donnell explains that he found his voice as a busker on Glasgow’s famous Buchanan Street as a teenager. He’d always wanted to sound like Jeff Buckley, imitating him in the shower as a child, but in front of the crowds of onlookers as a street musician, he learned to let his feelings run wild. “Singing is basically letting out your emotions in a weird wail,” he laughs. “And after all the busking, I know a good wail from a bad one.”

From age fourteen, he was writing songs on his phone using Garageband: his first was inspired by the death of a man in his local community and set up the signature sensitivity to be heard in his songwriting, which broadens experience out beyond the personal to explore the power of love and the way it lingers in the mind.

Review by Hannah Schneider

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