The captivating and intimate works of folk songstress Leah Senior have culminated into something very special on Senior’s debut album, Summer’s On The Ground that is set to release November 27th via Flightless/ Remote Control Records.
When you think folk music, thoughts of roomy and at times dishevelled guitar tones, picturesque song writing and a stereotypical emotive outlook that is somewhat played on repeat throughout the genre may come to mind. However, Senior’s music is atypical to the norm. The instrumentation from the resonant finger-picked open chords to the beautiful and soaring string arrangements is simplistic and purposefully arranged, ever so elegantly as it weaves with accompanying storytelling; rich in the imagery of changing seasons and lonesome city landscapes. The refined way a piece unfolds is further highlighted with the glimmers of strings and horns, kicking in at just the right time; making your heart melt into a thousand little droplets, only to pick yourself back up with Senior’s thought provoking lyricism.
Using metaphors such as, “Like a fish to the water, you take to me how you swim”, Senior’s piece, ‘Fisherman’s Daughter’, is a driving force that ties the prominent themes concerning surroundings, people and landscapes to the concept of love and its “hook-line and sinker” type ways. Against the riddled lyricism, comes a minor keyed piece with a soaring melody paired with a swelling string arrangement that moves chromatically through a sea of tremolos and suspense. As with this piece, in reflection of the album in its entirety, it is an artwork gently constructed in a vein of its own. With that in mind, it is so very refreshing to hear a folk artist keeping artistic integrity within their own style. Senior presents the album free from the constraints of an over-produced slab of noise, allowing the stellar story-telling to flourish in its own merits.
For Senior, the ol’ “camp-fire analysis” reins truer than true. A good song will keep its value when performed free from overproduction, unnecessary instrumentation and the ruse of recording tricks; in essence performed in its authentic self. Senior’s album merely needs the strings and horns for emphasis, as well as an added hint of beloved reverb to make you feel the chorus echo through your soul. This being more pleasurable on the ears than a folk song with a wonderful story yet massacred by the thumping backbeat of a bass drum and an absence of space.
To celebrate the release of her debut album, Summer’s On The Ground will be launched at The Toff on November 26th with support from the brilliant Forever Son and Palm Springs.
Summer’s On the Ground, is an album full of timeless song-writing and delicate instrumentation that like its seasonal discussion will be relevant all year round, every year. Senior’s writing should be commended and respected for its dreamy craftsmanship and conscious intent.
I highly rate this a well deserved 8/10