Review Archive

‘High and Dry’ – Melissa Payne, rootsy folk Canadiana with rock-infused energy

(May 13, 2014)

 

MelissaPayneHigh and DryThe first thing that strikes you about Melissa Payne is the piercingly beautiful quality of her vocals,next you ‘feel’ the connection that exists between voice and lyrics, and finally you absorb the overall richness of her songwriting. Her new album ‘High and Dry’ is an anthology of rootsy folk Canadiana suffused with rock-infused energy that enables her songs to slide easily from soft expression to toe-tapping enthusiasm.

The writing on High and Dry exposes so much of the artist it’s easy to feel at one with the emotions, people and experiences she describes. I first came across Melissa’s music during 2012, through her debut, self-titled album. And if that album caught your attention too, then this one is going to get under your skin and stay there. The interplay between guitars, fiddles, synthesizers, keyboards and percussion forms a web that allows her vocals to walk across with a delicacy that has to be heard.

From the utterly engaging opener ‘High and Dry’ with its unreserved acceptance of fate, through the smoothly meaningful words and mournful guitars on ‘Not The Only One’ to the sadly reflective mood of ‘Call Me A Fool’ the wealth of feelings tied up in this album will get to you. Aside from the engrossing title-track, the power of songs like ‘Cool West Wind’ and ‘Gunning For Me’ grab you and pull you into their embrace.

‘High and Dry’ releases through Seventh Fire Records.

Reviewer: Tom Franks

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