‘She and I’ from Kirsty Merryn - touching and memorable piece of work

(November 11, 2017)

Not quite a concept album but definitely one with a theme, ‘She and I’ from Kirsty Merryn expounds a group of narratives focusing on the exploits, experiences and excesses of independent, inspiring and idiosyncratic women. Eight piano-driven songs that tell their stories through Kirsty’s clear and emphatic vocals.

‘The Pit and the Pugilist’, which opens, is actually about Tommy Mitchell, an 18th century miner and boxing champion (the link being Kirsty is his great-great-granddaughter) from there,She-and-I album cover the disquieting sound of ‘Bring Up The Bodies’ takes inspiration from socialist and author Jessica Mitford and Henrietta Lacks, an African-American victim of medical research, before Horatio Nelson’s lover Emma Hamilton, makes her appearance in ‘The Fair Tea Maker of Edgware Road’. ‘Forfarshire’ reflects on the story of Grace Darling and her father William who took a rowing boat to rescue the survivors of the Forfarshire paddle steamer, with Steve Knightley taking the part of her father. An evocative ‘An Evening At Home In Spiritual Séance, is about Georgiana Houghton, a Victorian spiritualist who claimed she could contact spirits to produce ‘spirit-drawings’, and inspired by Annie Edison Taylor who, at 63, survived going over Niagara Falls in a barrel, ‘Queen of the Mist’ is equally haunting.

‘She and I’ is a moving and somewhat melancholy album, the subject matter dictates much of that impression, it is also a touching and memorable piece of work that provokes concentration.


Review: Charlie Elland

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