Friday, 20 May 2016

Record Review - Claire Anne Taylor

Published in the Shortlist section of The Sydney Morning Herald, May 20.

Claire Anne Taylor

One could make many a comparison when it comes to Claire Anne Taylor’s voice – Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, early Mia Dyson, all spring to mind and all are evident in Taylor’s vocal delivery, but essentially, it’s hers and hers alone. Make no mistake, it’s this voice which forms the foundation from which Taylor’s debut grows. Husky, smokey, velvet and barbed, it’s an instrument in itself and it commands your attention throughout the entirety of the record.

Recorded at Byron Bay’s now defunct Studio 301, and incorporating a slew of the area’s finest musicians, Elemental is definitely a strong debut. While Taylor will grow into the songwriting side of things, musically these ten tracks pulse and throb with an urgency – whether she’s singing of her family (As Strong As An Axe; My Mother, My Mountain), lost love (I Blame The Moon), or whiskey-soaked sadness (Devil), because of how she delivers these lyrics, you can’t help but get caught up in the whirlwind the songs become as a result.

Trading in rootsy folk for the most part, Elemental is strong and assured, the high point coming with the title track which builds slowly, climaxing into an almost desperate state.

Samuel J. Fell

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