Here in the Bay Area, we’re lucky to live among natural beauty, but it’s still easy to get wrapped up in city life and forget about the wide open spaces just beyond our normal daily reach. Luckily, we have Dyllan Hersey of San Anselmo making simple, heartfelt songs that are perfect for transporting you to a slower, quieter place.
It isn’t easy to make a compelling album with just a single voice and guitar, but Hersey managed to do that and more on her self-titled debut. The album was mostly written three-to-four years ago while she was living in Portland and missing her home in California. The LP generally follows themes related to what she tells me are her main inspirations: love and land.
Her voice can be a bit shy and mumbly at times, but I think this adds to her charm, and her voice can be strong when it needs to be. Her guitar work is more intricate than typical folk-singer strumming, yet avoids taking attention away from the beautiful simplicity of the arrangements. Below, you can hear the song “Country Life”, which is the tale of a girl torn between the love of a boy in the city and her love of her land and lifestyle out on the farm. Also listen to “I Wished Freedom”, where Hersey’s guitar interacts with the tone of her voice until they almost sound like a single instrument at times. You can purchase the entire album, released by Moonburn Records, as a CD or digital download from Hersey’s Bandcamp page.