RACHEL NEWTON – Here’s My Heart Come Take It (Shadowside SHADOW02)

Here's My Heart Come Take ItRachel Newton’s third solo album, Here’s My Heart Come Take It, is a gorgeous, sophisticated work for which great credit must go to co-producer and engineer Mattie Foulds who also added percussion to the vocals, harps and keyboards of the initial recording sessions.

The set opens with the title track; traditional words with Rachel’s own tune. It’s a warning about the fickleness of young women, or perhaps a warning to fickle young women as she is the loser in this case. ‘Gura Mise Tha Fo Mhulad’ then provides the opposite viewpoint – that it doesn’t do to be too trusting for fear of ending up spurned with a babe in arms. ‘The Bloody Gardener’ is a classic murder tale and a warning to young men not to be late on a date while ‘Proud Maisrie’ proves that the women usually get the upper hand.

Rachel’s electroharp rings bell-like on the title track and I presume that’s some sort of oscillator tone in the background. Then the piano (also Rachel) and drums come in and Lauren MacColl’s strings swell over the top and her solo violin soars plaintively over the second track. Doomy piano features heavily but ‘Proud Maisrie’ is as close to folk-rock as you can get. I don’t believe Pentangle recorded it but this arrangement would have suited them perfectly. Foulds does enjoy panning across the soundscape and lets himself go a bit on this track which is really the record’s big production number.

As you may know, Rachel has a love of country and western but doesn’t indulge it on record. But here’s ‘Don’t Go Out Tonight My Darling’ from the Max Hunter collection which is C&W in everything except execution decorated as it is by Michael Owers lonely flugelhorn. Later comes another Max Hunter song. ‘Poor Lost Babe, first recorded in Arkansas and it would be a short step from an Ozark ballad to a country standard.

As I said, this a beautiful album and with everything else that’s going on Rachel is still front and centre where she should be.

Dai Jeffries

Artist’s website: www.rachelnewtonmusic.com

There are no videos from the album yet but here is the title track:

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