Sunday, 20 March 2011

Kristen Leigh - Making Friends With Ghosts

An emotional rollercoaster ride through the darkness and into the light
If you like alternative folk then you will adore the new album from singer/songwriter Kristen Leigh. Her music mixes many styles and genres together whilst blending together lyrics that cover a whole range of emotions. The album has a distinct rawness about it and flicks between ballads to rockier folk numbers with effortless ease. Influenced by traditional folk artists as well as Patty Griffin, Tori Amos and Bob Dylan, it is easy to see how these artists have affected Kristen’s music. MAKING FRIENDS WITH GHOSTS is Kristen’s third album, all of which have been independently recorded. This album features a whole range of instrumentation from the piano to the accordion and the flute to a medieval harpsichord. The premise for this new album is about coming to terms with the past and dealing with the emotions and experiences that have caused hurt, sadness and longing along the way. The album goes through patches of light as well as patches of darkness. Some of the songs are very introspective whilst others are light and less emotional. After a short introduction Kristen bursts to life with the song Remember Who You Are. This is quite a heavy, dark song with haunting vocals. Kristen’s vocals are intoxicating and her carefully crafted lyrics are also well worth a listen. The Space In The Distance has a slightly more up-beat feel but once again this is quite a dark introspective song. A short piano interlude breaks up the gloom and gives listeners a breather from the intense lyrics of the opening two songs. Going All In sees the intense mood resume. Kristen’s vocals are distinct and full of depth and emotion. Stouffer Chemical Company has a real alt-country feel. Sunday Afternoon is another song with a strong dash of alt-country perhaps in the style of Lucy Kaplansky. Kristen’s vocals are gentle almost subdued. Little Star (The Lullaby) is a softer number, which allows Kristen’s vocals to really shine. Day Off is a catchy quirky song. The beat is up-tempo and the mood light. Right Where I Am is another lyrically strong song about life. Sacred Heart is a striking ballad with some lovely instrumentation. This song is very atmospheric and stands out as one of the highlights of the album. California (If You Go) is a slow song with gentle musical backing. Weathering The Storm and Gratitude are songs about redemption and fall at the end of the album. This album is like a personal journey through the medium of song and music. Both of these songs are anthemic and have a slight rock vibe. There is a lot of darkness seeping through the songs and lyrics contained on this glorious album but the music and vocals are of such a high quality that you will want to listen to the album over and over again.

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