DiNicola’s spent the past couple of years rising through the ranks, earning the chance to work with some great music professionals like Ron Allaire (Keith Richards, Madonna, David Bowie, Shakira), Julian Coryell (Aimee Mann, Leonard Cohen, Jewel, Alanis Morisette), Erich Gobel (John Mayer, Ray Charles), Mark Schulman (P!nk, Cher, Foreigner), and Ellis Traver (Diane Birch, Fischerspooner, Sean Lennon, and Mark Ronson) while releasing some celebrated work like 2011’s Draw Back Your Bow EP which found the artist offering up a playful and imaginative set of cover songs. It was time well spent as the artist just basked in those classic songs and drew inspiration and knowledge from the experience.
That experiences colors the five tracks of Some Greener Yard and lends a depth and emotional quality throughout as things kick off with the rock-tinged country of “Shaky Wire,” whirring organ fills providing color over against thudding drums and a chunky guitar part as the artist shows off her talented and obviously well-trained voice as she plunges headlong through the passionate track. “Give Me Away” lets the artist flow into even more country-feeling fare, her vocals rich and resonant as she is supported by an arrangement sporting brushed drums and moody keyboards which mirror the darkly painful lyric.
“Stay” is step back in the direction of the fun and playful, the tone bright and cheery with a Motown feel and peppy backbeat as DiNicola sings of love and the euphoric joy of a new relationship. It’s one of the better tracks here as the artist lets her hair down and seems to have a blast, lending the song an unseen smile throughout.
That smile becomes bittersweet with the entry of “Weight” onto the scene, DiNicola opting for a subdued piano and acoustic strings to carry home her ode of love to a lost friend, her voice aching with pain and loss, tears brimming as she sings, “No one here can get me through the night/Even God Himself could never make this right.” Producer Julian Coryell manages the tone just right and helps to deliver another killer song before DiNicola offers her swan song with “It’s Alright,” a gentle closer featuring folksy guitars and another painful yet hope-filled lyric to one who’s lost someone.
Leslie DiNicola is an artist who is all about painting pictures in sound and word and Some Greener Yard does that through and through. Bridging from sounds that draw from country, folk, pop, and more, DiNicola has crafted five powerful songs that evoke mental and emotional pictures, drawing you in and refusing to let you go.