The world seems awash with a tsunami of so-called singer-songwriters right now, wannabes with their wide-brimmed hats and skinny jeans, complicated hair, and a basic working of the key of A minor. But they pale in comparison when measured against the real deal. Gwyn English Nielsen is the real deal.
I would go as far as to say that there is something almost majestic in the way she delivers Know Me Well, her voice bordering on the tones and textures more associated with the classical world, the music tinged with the same deftness and delicacy, the rhythms of her acoustic guitar dancing on the ebb and flow of a emotive wash of strings.
There is something about the song too that reminds me, perhaps just in the lift into the chorus, of that most iconic of songs, I Don’t Want To Talk About It, a written by Crazy Horse’s Danny Whitten, made famous by Rod Stewart but perhaps best performed by Everything But the Girl. It is the latter version that makes for the most helpful reference point, though anyone who can evoke any of those artists is clearly doing something right.
Gorgeously understated, eloquently written, and elegantly delivered, Know Me Well is a benchmark for other singer-songwriters, especially those aiming to tug heartstrings rather than merely fill coffers, to aim for.