Friday, 8 June 2018

Alexandra Alden - Wild Honey, album review

Beautiful Influences

This is simply beautiful, essentially acoustic songs with delicate accompaniments – light piano touches, cello, occasional strings. Alden’s voice is not a perfect one, not in that finely-tuned and crystalline way some singers convey. But it is perfect. It is more tone than warble; more depth of feeling than precision.

I read somewhere that her influences are the likes of Nick Drake and John Martyn, as they should be for a singer-songwriter. I hear Drake many times in the piano and cello arrangements, and in the pace. Martyn too in the placement of piano pieces – more in being there than melodic lines. It’s hard to explain, but you hear it very clearly, and it is quite individual and distinctive but also nostalgically soothing.

I’m still listening so haven’t acquired those knowing differences, but I love this part: discovering, and each track just one layer of prettiness on another. There – one of those light piano notes just got struck and fell. It is a clever touch, Drake-ish, and it works.

There’s Bunyan in the gentleness and pace, but not the quietness of vocal; and Denny too, but not the obvious folk tropes.

It is excellent.

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