Marina Florance is one of the new wave of female singer-songwriters emerging from nurturing by the Folkstock organisation alongside Maz O’Connor, Kelly Oliver and Daria Kulesh. This, That & The Other is her second studio album. She came late to performing but brings a wealth of experience to her work.
Marina is an accomplished instrumentalist, using only Roland Garson’s melodeon on two tracks and alto sax from Greg Camburn and guitar from Ben Smith on a third. She is modest about the scope of her talents on the package but the record features hand percussion under multi-tracked guitars and a mandolin weaves its way through some of the tracks while at least one has piano and strings (or synthesiser) and there is some tasty electro-acoustic leads here and there. Actually, sometimes it’s hard to be certain about what is actually being employed.
Songwriting credits are sometimes shared with Julie Fox-Allen, Mick Kennedy and Richard Pierce whose spoken words add something rather special to ‘A Better Song’ but Marina is at the centre of them all. ‘Take A Little Time’ is a song which quickly stands out – powerful lyrics allied to a tune that gets under your skin but it’s not alone in that. ‘Carried Away’ has a definite feel of Americana with mandolin to the fore and something rather more upfront in the way of percussion.
I’d heard only a couple of Marina’s songs before this album but it’s rapidly grown on me. I’m impressed by the way that she keeps everything tight and restrained. even when, as with ‘A Room Of Your Own’, she pours everything into the song.
This, That & The Other is an impressive album that will be launched officially at The Straw Bear Festival next month.
Artist’s website: www.marinaflorance.com
‘Big Legged Woman’ isn’t on this album but what the hell?