Local singer and songwriter Joy Ike's latest album, Rumors, is not only for her fans, but in a way, it's also by them. Seventy-five percent of the cost of making Rumors was funded by Ike's fans through a Kickstarter online fundraising campaign -- and the final product will prove to her fans that it was a project worthy of their patronage.
From the start, Ike is up to her old tricks with quick, clever piano parts and vocals that manage to pack her music with punchy drama without dropping the smooth fluidity of the songs. Although similar to her debut, Good Morning, Ike's new album has a simpler and more stripped-down quality that gives it a life of its own.
Rather than a flaw, the lack of a polished touch on Rumors brings out the best in Ike's music: the appealing simplicity of her music, her poetic lyrics and strong voice. It allows her music to drift away from the popular Fiona Apple and Regina Spektor sound and toward a folksier gospel genre. A few of the album's highlights are the perky and lively first track, "Sweeter," and the slow and sweetly sad track "Rumors."
Ike will celebrate the release of Rumors with the people who made it possible and her fans on Sun., May 16, with a potluck dinner and show at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.
Joy Ike CD release with Heather Kropf. 4-6 p.m. Sun., May 16. 6300 Fifth Ave., Shadyside. $5-10 suggested donation (or bring a dish to share). All ages. 412-361-0873 or www.pittsburgharts.org