Secrets and Lies
After a few cuts on this haunting disc from Irish newcomer Onya, it sounds like she may have hit that low point in her sexual career. She opens with the driving acoustic sound of “Love Me Baby,” a song not as positive as the title would suggest — it’s more like “If you love me, let me go” and she has a pretty decent list of supporting arguments. The follow-up song is “Hey Lady” (Hey Lady, won’t you come into my world — can I touch you there?) Clearly, she’s had some experiences with men that go way beyond leaving a toilet seat up. There’s a story on this disc, and Onya’s wearing it on her sleeve. By the fifth track, “Cut Me,” I was ready to start a petition for her. This is an angry record.
Onya has a knack for gripping lyrics and her melodic guitar work is no folk noodling, but carefully thought-out structure and meter. Backing sound comes from some drums, guitar, and some unidentified wind instruments that could be a didgeridoo for all I can tell, arranged by Kevin Lowery and Seamy O’Doherty. Her clear vocals and clear focus on external emotional states make her sound like the next in a line of strong female pop stars. Even I wanted to cry along with her.