‘Solace’ from Iona Lane – a voice with an intriguing timbre that’s both ‘different’ and alluring(January 08, 2017)
Around a year ago I wrote that Iona Lane possesses a ‘distinctive, alluring, honest, and above all, original’ voice. That was in a review of her EP ‘Dry Stone Walls’. Time has done nothing to make me change my mind, in fact the follow up EP ‘Solace’ has if anything, reaffirmed that initial reaction. The voice remains at the forefront, with its intriguing timbre that makes it both ‘different’ and alluring. The music weaves itself around the vocals and as you listen, the depth of the lyrics catch you and carry you into the songs.
This time around, the instrumentation is more in evidence but never enough to get in the way, the same applies to the production, which is tighter and more embracing, to give a fuller sound, however it’s never allowed to swamp the modest simplicity that makes Iona’s songs so moving. ‘Amsterdam’ opens, echoing a personal view that develops as the song progresses ... definitely worth your attention, the rockier drive of ‘Sometimes’ proves that Iona can give her voice a stronger dramatic edge, the same being true of ‘Fly Or Fall’, before the simple honesty of ‘I’ll Run With You’ returns the fragility to reveal the presence of its poignant lyric.
So that’s two EPs, with 'Solace' releasing on 18th February. However, one is tempted to ask: “When comes the album?” With songs of this calibre there must be one in there somewhere.
Playing on ‘Solace’ are Iona Lane (vocals, acoustic and electric guitars) Dave Shooter (bass) Joel Shooter (drums) Bess Shooter (flute) Abi Plowman (violin) Rachel Coombs (cello) and David Ackroyd (piano)
Review: Tim Carroll