The Northumberland- born, cello-playing, blues-influenced folk singer-songwriter Laura Victoria follows up her acclaimed 2015 debut Head Above Water with Today’s Another Day, an album exploring the different facets of love and relationships, from heartbreak to empowerment.
It would be fair to say that her little girl adenoidal warble is something of an acquired taste, but persistence pays off. Working with drummer Josh Wolfsohn and Jo Cooper on banjo and fiddle alongside guitarist Paul Oliver, Sarah-Jane Miller on flute and producer Joshua Davenport on double bass and piano, it opens with the acoustic strummed ‘I Can’t Stop Thinking About You’ and its memories of being dumped for another.
Continuing the theme, things get bluesier with the slow and swampy ‘Since I Got My Heart Broke’, combining organic instruments with synth textures, followed by the sole non-original a lovely reading of the traditional ‘The Waters of Tyne’ accompanied by Cooper’s banjo and Wolfsohn’s brushed snares.
Cello to the fore, there’s country hints to ‘The Looks Don’t Lie’, a slow intro gradually picking up pace with the bubbling banjo line, ‘I Sleep More Sound’ adopting a thumping drum rhythm as a poppier riffing sensibility underlines the lyric’s moving on and acceptance.
Banjo’s back in the spotlight for the shrug ‘n’ shuffle rhythm of the chords-tumbling ‘Today’s Another Day’, the mood taking on a more spiritual blues tribal air with the percussive itch of ‘I Don’t Want To Wear Black’ which you could hear the late Amy Winehouse sinking her vocal teeth into.
The same holds true of the slower, moodier and soulful ‘Always Knew You’d Come Back’, cello and banjo building its emotional and musical swell. The album closes with, first, the piano-backed ‘I’m Believing Now’, the fluttering instrumental bridge reflecting the optimism of its declaration, and, finally, the reflective slow waltz ‘The Sweet Moments’ with its restrained piano and banjo backing providing the play out caress.
The more you listen, the more it seeps inside, give it the time and you’ll be well rewarded.
Artist’s website: www.lauravictoriamusic.com
‘I Don’t Want To Wear Black’ – live: