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Sally Ironmonger Sally Ironmonger
Album: Pinch Me
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 11

I first discovered Sally Ironmonger through her second album, "The Company I Keep" in 2014 and immediately offered a slot on the Fatea Showcase Sessions, which I was delighted that she took up. One of the main reasons for that invite was the bright and breezy delivery Sally applies to her songs, music is definitely there to be enjoyed even if the subject matter can be a bit dark, because that's how life is sometimes.

It would be easy to say that her latest album, "Pinch Me" is more of the same, but that would be to take the soft often and sell the album short. True there are similarities, songs that are amongst the strongest social comments that you'll hear, but because it's not done as a protest song, the immediacy may not be there, but the thought provocation is right there, front and centre.

Ironmonger, along with her musical director, husband and guitarist, Brian Carter, really know how to put a song together, being able to take concepts like the football team you support into a song about why we should help our neighbours, be they next door or in the next city, next country. It's something that's managed equally through the more social songs, through the more personal ones.

There's songs that come with warnings, such as "Charming Men" particularly when you can see the false sincerity that sits below the skin deep with the juxtaposition between the jaunty tune and delivery and the subject content becoming more stark with each verse and songs that reflect the more everyday, songs about things that provoke thoughts and memories.

At times there is a feel of the music hall about "Pinch Me" and it's a stronger album for it, because music hall used to be one of the great communication channels, it also allows for that twinkle in the eye and moments of humour that help break the darkness and the album's climax, "Isobel Makes Love On National Monuments" allows you to leave the album with a smile on your face.

"Pinch Me" is a great album, one that builds on the many best parts of "The Company I Keep" and allows Sally Ironmonger to establish herself as premium brand songwriter, definitely worth giving this album a spin or two, well three, four etc.

Neil King