Billboard Magazine

In the Lyons Den by Larry Flick
With the impressive debut Surrender, singer/tune-smith Tracy Lyons proves that she has a knack for wrapping strong words in a velvet glove.

On the surface, much of her material has a delicate, sugar-sweet-material has a delicate, sugar-sweetened pop sound. Deeper investigation reveals the work of a songwriter of formidable depth and power.

Lyons comes from a family of distinguished artists that includes famed actress Leah Charles and Charles Vance, the longest-running theater producer in London. As an adolescent, she studied classical piano, voice, and dance. Lyons fondly recalls singing at parties with her brother in their hometown, a small Irish community just outside of Toronto. Alternately, her family spent much of their time in Ulster establishing her deep Irish roots.

“Life is very different there,” she says, “People live day to day. When you hear bombs going off in the distance, you learn to value what’s important.”

As a result, Lyons came of age “Living two lives.” She turned to writing and poetry to explore the world as it unfolded before her. Then something happened when she took her poetry to the piano. She recalls “I started to live the songs.”

The music on Surrender is melodic and honest with a core of Celtic soul and a welcome addition for listeners everywhere searching for fresh, genuine spirit in music. The set’s 11 tracks came to life over the past two years, the title track being the earliest piece. “ ‘Surrender,’” Lyons says, “is from a healing period. It comes from learning to value your purpose in life, from being committed to the journey.” Another melodic, soul-searching track, “Come to Me,” deals with the separation and anxiety of loving someone so much “you feel like half of you is gone until they return.”

Although Surrender, produced by Greg Kavanagh, explores some of the heart’s darker moments, it is showered throughout with a sense of hope. In these troubled times, it’s exactly what we can all use a little extra dose of.

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