Cheyenne Marie Mize – We Don’t Need EP

Cheyenne Marie Mize - We Don't Need EP

Cheyenne Marie Mize - We Don't Need EP

Cheyenne Marie Mize is a tough nut to crack. She’s worked with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, toured with Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore, and was chosen by NPR as one of their “Discoveries at SXSW 2011”. The We Don’t Need EP comes on the tail of her first full-length release and a few years of international attention as a great up-and-coming artist.

So why does We Don’t Need seem so fragmented? The EP has some really nice songs, but feels like Cheyenne Marie Mize’s response to so many critics calling her a folk singer. The opening R&B swing of “Wishing Well” features Mize’s voice over a variety of percussion. It’s a bonafide booty shaker, that sits oddly against the dirge-like “Call Me Beautiful”. Taken alone, this song is quite striking; Mize sounds reminiscent of Beth Gibbons and the somber tune could have almost been a Portishead extra.

Along comes the jaunty, piano driven “Going Under” up against the more straightforward, slow burning rock of “Keep It” and “It Lingers”. The sixth and final track on the We Don’t Need EP is “Back Around”, a spacious, instrumental number with beautiful strings and haunting guitar work. This piece would be right at home as the soundtrack to a noir film set in the desert.

We Don’t Need lacks cohesion, but most of the songs here stand up well on their own. Sometimes disjointed styles work well together, but in this case they seem misplaced. Cheyenne Marie Mize is clearly a talented woman with plenty of ideas, strong songwriting, and a good voice. Revisiting the tracks here on an individual basis – perhaps as part of a playlist or mix – is a definite; however, listening to this EP as a whole won’t stand the test of time. Still, fans of Mize’s previous work should surely make their own conclusions as the six tracks here are all quite strong.