10 December 2012 (released)
13 December 2012
Laurie Levine has a pure and highly pitched voice as well as a real talent as a songwriter and this is probably the best thing she has done since her debut in 2007.
In terms of her roots, she has touches of Appalachian folk as well as the country of Emmylou Harris or Kimmie Rhodes but the singer she most puts me in mind of is a little known American, Bonnie Koloc. Halting and emotive singing with gentle accompaniment: she draws the soul out of you with a subtle grace.
At every step there seems to be a little touch of unexpected delight – the keyboards on the title track are so soft but brilliantly illuminate her lyrics, or the banjo opening to ‘Stray’ that seems to be set against a whistle until you realise it is a fiddle and the whole number begins to coalesce around the plodding ‘kerplunk’ of the banjo and the lonely wail of the fiddle as her heartfelt vocal strikes deep.
I still cannot believe that she found something new to say in Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’ but something here makes it sound as though she is still wistful for the experience.
‘So Long, Farewell’ is corny, cheesy and divine – 2:56 of simple and gentle delight – the ultimate suicide note perhaps but a country gem.
My personal favourite is ‘Kites’ but anyone who listens to this album will quickly find theior own.
She is a singular talent and deserves a wide audience – a little sun-filled diamond!