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NEW ALBUM: Olivia Chaney - Shelter

[Image: MI0004435196.jpg?]
The one thing that scares me off some folk music (which is what I was expecting this to be) is that it can have a tendency to be awfully earnest and doleful; the first track and the title, in all its beautifully sung simplicity did seem to indicate that this might be how the album would play out. Track two, “Dragonfly” put a slightly different spin on things - these two, for starters sounded like traditional songs that have been reworked and given a new, but tasteful, and fairly restrained lease of life. Things got a bit different after that and simply can't be pegged as folk. I like the way her voice lets go of itself every now and then – as though the sounds are being breathed out of her of their own volition and can, in turned be inhaled by the listener. I know - that’s weird – but that’s how it feels to me. She has a lovely voice – clean, strong and not contrived and I quite like the instruments here too. Welcome respite for me – it’s been a lean couple of weeks – tried listening to all sorts of new stuff that is just so much crap I can’t believe anyone signed them!
Prior to this release, Ms Chaney contributed to The Queen of Hearts, with the Decemberists, as Offa Rex, which I also enjoyed. Listening to “O Solitude” on this new one, I thought it sounded quite baroque – it’s actually a Henry Purcell composition which explains everything – nicely done … and it IS difficult to categorise her – this is pinned as alternative singer/songwriter but I dunno … very definite underlying folk too (despite my previous comment), although not one hundred percent definitive.
I will go back for another listen – quiet music – there’s an aura of isolation and vulnerability about the album which I think is an essential aspect for the real success of any artist – a little bit of vulnerability endears people - engenders sympatico; at the same time there is also a degree of reassuring self-containment. I like it. Smile

"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson

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