‘Heaven Knows’ from Bella Gaffney – a difference and sets it apart from ‘the rest’(July 15, 2017)
Just sometimes there’s that moment when an album opens that you know you’re compelled to listen at the expense of anything else. Everything about it is supremely attractive ... the music, the voice, the arrangements, the songs ... all combine to hold you. It’s happened before, it will happen again ... the latest encounter is ‘Heaven Knows’ from Bella Gaffney.
The instrumentation embraces the songs on both strong and inventive foundations, the voice ranges from engrossing and seductive to commanding and persistent ... neither to be ignored nor forgotten. From the gentle expression and percussive insistence of ‘Heaven Knows’ through the revealing ‘Devil In Me’, the longing and empathy evident in ‘I Am The Tide’ and contented resignation of ‘Go Well Stay Well’ to the enduring hope in the gorgeously articulated ‘First Light Of Dawn’ ... there’s not a moment when your attention wanders or fails. ‘Heaven Knows’ also includes an expressive, involving take on John Martyn’s ‘Cocaine’ and a sultry version of ‘Gallows Pole.
There’s a wealth of creativity within the embrace of ‘Heaven Knows’ ... a freshness that makes the difference and sets it apart from ‘the rest’.
Playing on ‘Heaven Knows’ are Bella Gaffney: (vocals, guitar, concertina, mandolin, bass guitar) with on selected tracks Lauren Deakin Davies (bass guitar, keys, percussion) Nick Hall (backing vocals, lead guitar) Tim Spencer (drums) Chris Elliot (fiddle) Heather Sirret (bass guitar) and James Gaffney (piano). The songs on ‘Heaven Knows’ are Bella Gaffney originals, except Gallows Pole (trad. arr.) and Cocaine (John Martyn). The album launch gig will be August 5th at Black Dyke Mills.
Review: Tim Carroll