'With The Dawn’ by Bella Hardy - an intimate, deeply-focused album(February 18, 2015)
The clarity of voice and sharpness of composition improve with every outing. ‘Night Visiting’ and ‘In The Shadow of Mountains’ made clear and obvious the talent that Bella Hardy possesses – now her latest solo album ‘With The Dawn’ brings more of the same only this time with an individual, profound closeness. This is an intimate, deeply-focused album built around personal experiences, instances and incidents, and much of what you hear brings the listener nearer to the artist.
With this album there’s a distinct impression you’re listening-in on moments of private reflection and revelation, sometimes this unveiling is so tender one feels like an intruder. It’s only because the artist has decided to set free these disclosures that sharing replaces intrusion. The fragility is there to hear in ‘The Only Thing To Do’, ‘First Light Of The Morning’ and‘The Darkening Of The Day’ each arriving, residing and revealing in turn. Were they not enough to tear the heart, there’s‘You Don’t Have To Change (But You Have To Choose)’, the searing ‘Oh! My God! I Miss You’ and the incredibly moving ‘Gifts’ … “I was trying to fit into you, you were trying to fit in”. There’s an added bonus in the beautifully composed narrative of‘Jolly Good Luck to The Girl That Loves A Soldier’ Bella’s contribution to the ‘Songs For The Voiceless’ project.
‘With The Dawn’ by Bella Hardy (voice, fiddle) also includes across various tracks the talents of Ben Seal (programming, banjo) Cera Impala (banjo) Cara Luft (banjo) Tim Lane (drums) Tamlin Wiltshire (drums) Chris Grieve (trombone) Marcus britton (trumpet, French horn) and Tom Donaldson (tuba). The album releases 30 March 2015 on Noe Records.
Reviewer: Charlie Elland