It's strange that when an artist is at either end of the age spectrum, you almost feel compelled to mention it in the review as the artist in question must either be a prodigy or someone that has survived the hedonistic lifestyle of the musician and survived to go on making records as if either are outside of the norm. So long as it doesn't detract from the rest of the review and the artist gets a fair shout, ultimately who cares. For the record Iona Lane is currently 17 and has recently launched a new 7 track EP/Mini album "Dry Stone Walls".
I was fortunate enough to hear Iona over a year ago and immediately offered her a slot on the Fatea Showcase Sessions, which I'm glad to say she accepted. Back then I said "It is clear from the way Iona sings that she has a real connection with the songs, you can almost feel it in her voice..." well with seven tracks, of which six are self penned, I can revise that to you can hear it in her voice.
Iona Lane has grown in confidence in that short time, you can now hear the emotional connection with the music along with the well developed sense of metaphor that permeates her own material, really check out the title track, in fact, whilst there is not a weak track on the EP, the only place where you feel the connection falter is on the traditional track "Si Bheag Si Mhor", where I think she is trying to stay true to the Gaelic root and just loses that connection. It's nothing to worry about, it will definitely come and it's great to hear an artist experiment on what is another great building block on her process of discovery, a great apprentice piece.
Most of the album revolves around relationships, of feeling one's way in the world and whist the steps may be a bit tentative, the delivery is strident and confident, without ever feeling to big for the song. More importantly she seems to have snippets that reach out to a bigger picture and a larger place in the world and it seems to be one that she should be destined to reach if she keeps writing and performing like this.
|Norrie McCulloch: These Mountain Blues||Cary Morin: Tiny Town|
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