CD Review – Amelia Curran “Spectators”
Dark and occasionally Gothic Folk songs with a Celtic rawness
I really enjoyed Amelia Curran’s previous (Award-winning, no less) album HUNTER HUNTER so was thrilled to receive SPECTATORS just before Christmas. The first thing that struck me this time was the deepness of the songs. Nothing sounds ‘literal’, leaving the listener to determine the storyline of several songs.
Although Amelia Curran sounds nothing like her, I couldn’t help thinking of Joan Baez while listening to Soft Wooden Towers and The Great Escape. They are both slow, wordy ballads full of beautiful string arrangements that have violins, viola and cellos fighting to smother you in velvet, as Curran sounds like a Siren beckoning you to her through a salty fog.
The haunting love song, San Andreas Fault, is simply beautiful as Amelia reflects on a relationship that has ended acrimoniously and feels she must be to blame. ‘The San Andreas Fault is on my heart’ could be one of the greatest lines I’ve ever heard.
Amelia Curran appears to be maturing gracefully as a songwriter and John Critchley’s powerful production adds even more new layers to her already intelligent lyrics.
The album ends with the stark and minimalist Face on the News. In these days of very public protests it is a very clever and deep song about an individual’s political views and how we don’t actually discuss them until, in this case, we see ‘their face on the news.’
Compared to her last album SPECTATOR is very dark. What Will You Be Building takes this to the extreme with a low rumbling Dixieland band playing a funeral dirge as Amelia lets her lover know the only person she will answer to is ‘her Maker.’
This hasn’t been the easiest album to listen to but, if you persevere, Amelia Curran could easily become one of your favourite singer-songwriters.
Released February 2013