Wednesday, 14 October 2015

E.P.: Rachael Lavelle - Superman

Rachael Lavelle Superman EP

Rachael Lavelle - Ecstasy

Info: Dublin singer-songwriter Rachael Lavelle released her debut E.P., Superman, just over a fortnight ago. The young singer and pianist has also been cutting her teeth in some of the city's notable music venues such as Whelans, The Button Factory and The Workman's Club during the course of the year and counts among her plaudits The Irish Times' Jim Carroll who described her as 'a performer and writer with oodles of potential'. 

The two things that initially struck me listening to Rachael Lavelle's Superman E.P. were, one, a depth of maturity in her lyrics, and two, I cannot adequately attach her vocals or sound to any predecessor, there's a certain sense of the theatricality of Kate Bush, but not the sound. The opening lines of 'Ecstasy' (above) grab you; 'Your words could kill a woman, your touch could light a fire, if I take one step, I'll tumble off the wire'. From that point on you realise you are not going to be listening to 'just another singer-songwriter' and the subsequent tracks reaffirm this feeling.

Rachael Lavelle - Howling

When I first listened to this collection of songs it was 'Ecstasy' that I enjoyed most, but after a few more listens I've grown fonder of second track 'Howling' (above). Here Lavelle creates picturesque storyboards for us once again with her lyrical descriptiveness, the music softly caresses as well with beautiful piano and string accompaniments, there's even time for Marvin Gaye to drop by and wave at us. 

Rachael Lavelle Superman
Photo by: Deborah Sheedy

The E.P.'s title track bursts with drama and strongly resembles a late 1960's / early 1970's song-writing tradition, the strings are rich and deep in tone and her vocals are especially pleasing here, musically it reminds me of something from Nick Drake's Five Leaves Left. Lavelle completes her introductory set of songs perfectly with 'Robot'; 'I was born a baby, I will die a robot...if this is where we're going I don't want to follow, my mind may be numb but my heart isn't hollow..'. A distraught condemnation of the seemingly non-thinking environment of the modern world perhaps, in any case a beautifully haunting ballad. I can't reach any conclusion other than Rachael Lavelle's Superman is one of the most promising debut E.P.'s I've heard this year, more people need to hear her music and such a rich debut bodes very well for her future, and those of us who are now fans.

You can purchase Superman on iTunes here.

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