Earlier this year the lovely Balloon Machine blog decided to relaunch themselves as a record label and their first release, Laura Fell’s ‘Safe From Me’ is an absolutely stunning start.
Fell sings low, with an expressive feeling to her voice which makes her sound like the lovechild of Nick Drake and Bobbie Gentry. Opening song Glad contemplates a dissolving relationship, inspired by her parents divorce. Musically the slow layering of sound builds towards an emotional end. She recruited classically trained musicians for the record and the results are sublime.
First single Bone of Contention hums with quiet threat, the beauty and elegance in the music juxtaposed with the unsettling tone of the words. There’s more than a little menace to songs like Cold and Safe From Me, creating an eerie and evocative atmosphere.
She invites Gus White to join her for a lovely duet on Left Foot, Right Foot, which is a nice switch in tone. On the second half of the album Until Now and Every Time offer us a glimpse of her softer musical side.
The album finishes with I Didn’t Mean To, a stark and tense study of emotional pain. Fell’s day job as a therapist helps to add an authentic depth to the psychological realism of the lyrics.
Despite this being her debut album, Laura Fell appears unafraid to experiment and push the boundaries of her voice and vision. Safe From Me is moody, mysterious, majestic and more than worth your attention this winter.