New Yorker Trumps the Rest With Her Finest Album To Date.
She won’t remember, but Nell Bryden once provided me with 5 of the finest minutes of my life. Several years ago I had a radio show and interviewed Nell in her dressing room at Sage Gateshead and, as agreed sang a song to be played ‘exclusively’ alongside the 15 minutes of conversation.
I’ve heard a lot of music in my time, but sitting barely three feet away from her as she sang Sirens for and too me was genuinely spine-tingling and will stay with me forever.
Which brings us to the New York singer-songwriter’s fifth album Bloom, which finds Nell at the piano on the delightfully dark and edgy 1 In The Morning. As the song finally faded away I couldn’t help thinking that now married and a mother, the singer has at last grown into her amazing voice and is using it in all its glory.
Like all good songwriters Nell has a wonderful and expressive imagination which comes across in songs like Gunshot Grey and Holes In My Shoes which both shine like raindrops I the morning sunshine.
Others; and I’m thinking Feels So Good To Cry appear to be from her own life; but rounded out for popular consumption and will really tug at your heartstrings.
Perhaps it’s the production here; which really brings out the best in Nell’s performance and storytelling but there is an ‘Epic’ sound to the powerful and slightly unsettling What Is It You Want? But nonetheless a song that will resonate with most people who hear it; especially as it is the first single from the album and already play-listed on daytime Radio 2.
Although Thought I Was Meant For You was a strong contender, my favourite track though is City Rose. Another song primarily featuring the piano is the type of introspective song every parent will wish they could write; but will seek solace from the fact Nell Bryden has.
As we haven’t played her previous albums for a while I did a ‘blind tasting’ for Mrs. Magpie on a car journey; and the result, while positive (she tapped her fingers from track #1) but her eventual comment not just surprised me; but showed how my wife’s mind works.
Just after tapping her toes along to the frenetic beat of Dared The World and Won her eyes furrowed during the deep melancholic Never Too Late, which immediately follows, “Is this Annie Lennox?” she asked.
Slightly bemused; I had a ‘light-bulb moment,’ “No; but it could be.” I replied.
While very much her own woman in every way; for the uninitiated there is a definite ‘feel’ of the legendary Eurythmic running throughout BLOOM and that is certainly meant as a huge compliment at RMHQ.
Released 27th January 2017