Reviews

Samantha Whates
Album: Dark Nights Made For Brighter Days
Label: Natural Studio
Tracks: 10
Website: www.samanthawhates.com

Understated, other worldy debut from the London-based Scottish singer songwriter whose lightly produced album showcases a set of sometimes slight, sometimes absorbing songs and Ms Whates' deceptively forceful voice which pushes the songs onto more solid ground.

She readily aligns herself with the Scando-folk of Rune Grammofon and her careful exploration of tone as much as melody and structure in these songs suggests her admiration has rubbed off, although perhaps inevitably the ghosts of Joni Mitchell, Vashti Bunyan and Suzanne Vega whisper their presence on tracks like Me or Anyone Else, Dead to the World and Black & Blue.

Search a little deeper though and you'll find a more muscular approach works wonders on New Found Friends, although the gossamer charm of Granny's House suggests otherwise and Happy Birthday is almost menacing in its detachment.

That's the thing with this album - it says different things on each listen. It seems the tracks were recorded a couple of years ago and have lain in wait ever sinceā€¦ and it could well be the completed album will take as long to reveal its true nature. Who knows, but so far it sounds like it could be worth sticking around to find out.

Nick Churchill
www.thegranvillechambers.co.uk

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