Pennies in Hand

Kelcy Mae is a native of Shreveport, Louisiana, and lives in New Orleans. “Pennies in Hand” is her second album. One of Kelcy’s great strengths as an artist lies in her subtlety — beautifully-nuanced lyrics and arrangements which reflect that very notion of human emotions. She leaves simplistic odes to love or lust or heartbreak to other artists and instead dwells in the fascinating space of sudden realizations and complicated reactions. Such deft lyricism and sense of timing are on display from the word go, as the album opens with a stripped down bluesy version of her song “Your Two Faces” which melts into track 2, a gorgeous cover of “Moonshiners,” an old Irish standard performed over the years by the likes of Bob Dylan, Uncle Tupelo and Cat Power. The title track, “Pennies in Hand” is a moving rumination on the effects of time and change set to a deceptively-catchy hook and melody that sweeps the listener along. By the time the song ends with a return to the ukulele-led refrain, Kelcy Mae’s shining voice has achieved a beautiful paradox – strong enough to span mountains, yet at the same time delicate as a bird’s wing.

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