‘Sonomama’ from Lucy Anne Sale - hidden depths that steadily emerge(January 08, 2013)
ry to put a defining line around this music or confine it within a specific genre box and that would be nothing short of an exercise in futility. It’s easier to take the eclectic style-breaking, genre-blending soul-searching, bluesy jazz-edged folk that Lucy Anne Sale creates with ‘Sonomama’ and simply accept it as complex progressive output from an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and songwriter.
Lucy Anne has a powerful voice possessed of range and depth that alternates between ethereal and substantial. She encircles her improvisation-based approach around capricious melodies extending a scope of delivery to create vocals that carry the album. Sure, there’s a wealth of musical extravagance to savour with influences that blend twisting jazz, meandering electronica, folk and rock to build a multi-layered soundscape, but the voice has it all. The phrasing constantly tantalises taking surprising turns and leading you down unusual avenues, and then when you think you have a handle on her style she takes another unexpected direction.
‘Sonomama’ has an elegance all its own with songs such as ‘Count On Me’, ‘Luckier Than Some’ and the enigmatic ‘Live Or Die Trying’ - they form a diverse mix that requires time to absorb but ultimately rewards all the more. Even the seemingly simple pop-infused ‘Where The Bluebells Grow’ has hidden depths and a freedom that steadily emerges as you let this album grow on you. And that’s what ‘Sonomama’ really needs – time to get to you, and as it does its reach just gets wider and deeper.
Playing alongside Lucy Anne (vocals, guitar, flutes, Wurlitzer, piano, recorder, electric bass, synths) on various tracks on ‘Sonomama’ are Kai Carter (double bass) Si Hayden (double bass) G. Vaughn (drums) Jools Street (violins) Liz Crowley (vocals) and Drew Coleman (mandolin).
Reviewer: Dan Holland