Just about perfect for the time of year, Tracey Browne’s songs have a softness of touch, mellowing out the bloody awful weather but stirring the emotions and raising the blood flow.
She is an excellent songwriter and as good a vocalist – good enough in combination to attract Nigel Stonier (Thea Gilmore, Joan Baez, Martha Wainwright) to produce her in a seventeenth century church cum studio in Northenden. She has a slight and halting voice, perfectly suited to her clear and heartfelt lyrics, and the sensitive arrangements work really well under her vocals. She really understands melody, better than most singer/songwriters, but she also has a great feeling for a hook and the songs on this album tend to stay in your head for a while after the fade-out. Every song is its own creation; she doesn’t seem to do formulaic or standard but she does wring every ounce of real emotion from the songs albeit without going over the top.
There is a definite feel of a Kirsty Macoll here but, for me, even more of the music of Tracey Bonham and, on the gorgeous "The Mountain Goat" especially. some of what made Nick Drake so special. Other standout tracks are "Under The Radar" and "My Best Friend, My Ego" but they are all crackers.
I think that I would like to see her live, if only to see if the songs work without the arrangements – I suspect that they will work very well – buit in the meantime I will enjoy the heck out of this little gem.