TALITHA RISE An Abandoned Orchid House

TALITHA RISE An Abandoned Orchid House Sonicbond [Release date 01.06.18]

This full length debut from Sussex based indie folk singer songwriter Talitha Rise is an ambitious, ethereal, set that at times bears the hallmarks of Robert Plant’s Zeppelin and solo folky moments.  Little surprise therefore to find that producer and collaborator Martyn Baker has worked with the man, as has guesting Gambian riti player Juldeh Camara.

And when other contributors include the likes of Peter Yates (Fields Of Nephilim- guitars), Arnulf Linder (KT Tunstall, Ed Harcourt – cello), Roy McFarlane (Katie Melua – bass) and Kathryn William, you know that An Abandoned Orchid House is bound to be a cultured work.

Talitha’s vocals throughout are quite stunning, putting her firmly in Kate Bush/Enya/ Tori Amos territory.  ‘Orchid House’ opens proceedings – an ambient number with floated vocals, and sweeping keys, with Far Eastern reference points in vocals and melodies, while ‘Valley’ shimmers with a folk/pastoral All About Eve-vibe, and the haunting lament ‘Incarnation’ is adorned with some evocative playing from Camara.  It’s a tone that pervades the whole album.

If there’s a complaint, it’s a tendency to drift into ‘mood music’ that can find a listener’s attention tuning out, suggesting a little more focus may be required if a mainstream audience is a target.  Most rewarding listened to with the lights down low and no distractions.  ***1/2

Review by Pete Whalley

GUILIA MILLANTA Conversation With A Ghost
Ugly Cat Music [Release date 22.06.18]

The tone of this sixth solo release from Austin, Texas-based, Italian native, singer songwriter Giulia (pronounced Julia) Millanta is very much set by John Mills’ bass clarinet/sax which gives the set a late night, jazz vibe.

The opener ‘Blinded by The Sun’, reminds of some of Sting’s jazzier moments circa Nothing Like The Sun, ‘Hourglass’ is typical late/early hours bluesy jazz, and ‘Lonesome Throne’ is a perfect fit for the likes of Mary Coughlan.

‘Violence’ offers up French chanson complete with accordion from Joel Guzman, and ‘Coney Island’ some wonderfully restrained accompaniment from Mills.  So if you’re in the market for some cool late night, introspective, downbeat Americana with a touch of jazz and the blues, look no further.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley

DAVID FITZPATRICK Parachutes In Hurricanes [Release date 27.04.18]

The Dave Fitzpatrick Band – an indie alt pop/rock band from Milwaukee – have been around for decades, but this is the first solo work from their lead guitarist/singer.

And it’s something of a curate’s egg, not a million miles removed from the band’s own work.  It opens in cod-Springsteen style with ‘Lost On The Same Street’, while ‘Long Way Down’ adds an element of soul and bears more resemblance to Bob Seger.

But then it all changes – ‘Half A Mile’ has a late sixties (almost Neil Diamond ‘Sweet Caroline’) vibe to the chorus line, ‘All In Tonight’ is a Chris Rea-style croon, and thereafter the set descends into ‘middle of the road’ country pop/ rock.  Passable enough stuff, and Fitzpatrick’s vocals have a suitably authentic gruffness, but let’s not pretend it’s going to launch a major solo career.  **1/2

Review by Pete Whalley

David Randall plays a selection of new and classic rock in his weekly show first broadcast 14 June 2020 including reference to the Feature series “2020 Vision”.

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