How Big How Blue How Beautiful
It's another one for the new folk annals, this time a promising debut album.
Twenty-three-year-old Londoner Annie Eve has been pricking up ears for a few months, gaining radio support and a slot at this year's Glastonbury Festival. Fronting a full band, she makes a spacious sound but nevertheless creates an intimate mood, bleak and sorrowful.
Sunday '91 is no easy listening, even as its smooth contours calm and soothe. The atmosphere is relentlessly sombre, the lyrics ("Sometimes it feels like the best thing that you did was leave," she grouses on Ropes) hewn from regret and adversity. It can be a bind. Dark Rooms, Crisis and Creature are mournful in extremis, their ambience somewhere between the more reflective moments of Dire Straits' Brothers In Arms and Laura Marling's more intense musings.
On occasion though, Annie Eve finds a little light. August has sprightly passages, settling into a kind of country shuffle, Bedtime is a country blues punctuated by little yelps and closing single Basement feels like a subdued U2 in their Achtung Baby era, albeit with Lorde on vocals.
That's the sulky tone of Annie Eve's voice, which can become a touch dreary but generally conveys a beaten soul. So there's plenty to convince here, just as long as you're in the right mindset.