Navigator Records (label)
28 April 2014 (released)
10 May 2014
I suppose we can forgive Fiona Bevan for 1) co-writing with Ed (Not Pink Floyd) Sheeran, and 2) that said song, Little Things, was a hit for One Direction. People have to earn a living and sometimes that can mean making huge sacrifices. Joking apart, Ms Bevan has a formidable CV including film and classical music plus an odd commission to accompany a piece of art at the Tate Modern. Talk to Strangers is her debut album.
Composed over four years it actually sounds very together from the sparkling opener Rebel Without a Cause, to the abstract rhythms of The Machine, through the vaguely Country of Talk to Strangers to the closing piano grandeur of Last Days of Decadence.
Between those there are plenty of other goodies the striding Pirates and Diamonds and Gold, a mostly acoustic number enhanced by the harp garnering it a glamorous cinematic vibe and a fantastic performance from Ms Bevan.
Fiona Bevan is outstanding throughout: she plays all the instruments and her voice is very much the core of the songs. One thing is that her little girl inflections, which do come to the fore at times, may not be to everyone’s taste. The album was mastered in San Francisco though it has much more of a laidback Laurel Canyon vibe about it than the former’s trippier ambiance.
Many of the songs are catchy and immediate but not in any way lightweight; lyrically she touches on the London Riots and the financial crash. Ms Bevan has deftly worked the music and lyrics so that they are almost perfectly interlaced. It’s deceptively simple album that has longevity and should have listeners returning to it.