On her first solo release, Adult Lullabies, Aubrey Haddard’s voice swirls arounds you, a cinnamon-sweet cloudiness that brings to mind early Lianne La Havas and Margaret Glaspy–both of which happen to be inspiration for the EP.

Some may recognize Haddard as the frontwoman of local band The New Review, or perhaps as lead vocalist for Breakfast for the Boys, or perhaps Sonomosaic. Unlike some of her other energy-packed projects, this one has a softer sound. Or, as she described it: “whiskey-soaked and sugar-coated.” Don’t expect the whiskey of Adult Lullabies to have a bite, though. Instead, Haddard has captured a welcome burning feeling: a warmth that spreads from your chest to your fingertips.

Au is a project that allows Haddard to put out a purer, simpler sound. (Au is pronounced like the letters “A” and “U,” think gold on the periodic table.) “Everything I do is really orchestrated, instruments, layers, textures, really produced,” she says. “[With Au] I just wanted it to feel like I’m sitting here in a room singing to you.”

The stream-of-consciousness style of the lyrics certainly bring that intimacy, and it’s a feeling that’s amplified by the warm textures of the vocals. (Actually, quite literally amplified: the nostalgia-tinged sound is a result of Haddard’s prized purchase, a Shure bullet mic for harmonica.)

On “August” you’ll sit next to Haddard as she watches a bartender contemplate: “Maple or molasses?” and you see shapes as Haddard muses, “painting shadows with your hands” on “Dreaming.” It’s a beautifully raw release, and one that ends sooner than we’d like. Have a listen for yourself:

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