Review for 'Flight'
Fucking wonderful - we felt as if we were hearing the spirit of
Laura Nyro, Joan Baez, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Woodie Guthrie and more all rolled into one. It sounds like some special, secret recording from 1964 that only really cool people know about. We love it! Well done
Neville Farmer, Music Journalist
Sometimes, very rarely, an album comes along that shines so bright that you know immediately this is something special. You don’t quite know why because it’s simple and uncluttered, but something about the voice and the words and the harmonies draws you in and you give in to the enchantment of it. The voice, fragile, haunted, heart-breaking in its simplicity tells of love, longing, loss, broken promises and sweet release. The words land with such grace, at times giddy, child-like at other times full of yearning and intensity; always with a charm that sweeps you sideways. These are the songs of a woman who has lived - and lived to tell the tale. Songs to get lost in.
Instinctive, natural, they tell of a world lost, a fall from grace. A return to Eden. We sit together, Sue and I, in a West Country cafe, sipping black coffees and
she tells me of her musical influences and obsessions. “It’s a love affair with the Americana tradition. The genre gives me a framework and a structure to pour my words and melodies into; it’s a love affair, really - a soul-scape. I’ve never been to The States so I don’t know what it’s like, but for me it has great resonance. In a way it has very little to do with reality. I made it all up. It's my imaginary world and a homage to my heroes - Dylan and Joni Mitchell of course, for their poetry, their words; Van Morrison for the way he moves through a song. I get obsessed by a particular album. For a while It was Katie Moffatt's 'Cowboy Girl' and anything by Gillian Welsh. Cohen too I love - I listen and listen. I get possessed by some of his stuff, and then there's all that really old time bluegrass. It’s about my inner world; over twenty to thirty years of songwriting; making mistakes, not quite getting there, then having this moment with Americana, this vessel that I found I could pour everything into. Drawing on the American and Celtic folk traditions, it's an invocation of what has gone before. A distillation if you like of all my experience. Good old moonshine.”
There’s a Swedish word for the road-like reflection of moonlight on water, ‘mangata’ - perhaps people don’t take time to notice these glimmering, lyrical moments enough, but the way the light reflects back and dances on the surface of the ocean, is there waiting. Take Flight. Choose enchantment. Lose yourself and find yourself along the way.
Helen Frame 2016
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