Sunday, July 09, 2006

Susy Thomas - In The Morning (Season Records)

You know, it’s about high time we appointed a new Fave Brit Female™ here at The Sloppy Dog. Since bloody Melanie C bogged off to Europe to avoid the scabloids, we’ve been in need of someone to counter the male-fronted indie bands that dominate the Sloppy Dog stereo.

Step forward potential applicant Susy Thomas, a singer/songwriter hailing from Portsmouth. Clad with guitar, just the right amount of Elle-friendly gloss and an evident fervour for music, she’s certainly an exciting prospect at first notice.

We’ll be honest with you – she’s got one of those Cerys Matthews / Neil Tennant / Billie Holiday / Shakira voices. A proper like-it-or-don’t jobby. Here at The Sloppy Dog we fall into the former category, and not just because we sit within slapping distance of her big sister. (While we’re doing disclaimers, that’s not irony about Melanie C – we heart her.)

Of course, rich, distinctive vocals are as much use as a chocolate teapot without the songs. Thankfully, In The Morning is a collection of authentic, expressive bursts of sunlight. Lead single Mirror For Me chugs happily along drenched in captivating melodies, a fine contrast to the dreamy sway of Because You’re Near. It could be argued that the semi-acoustic, mid-tempo refrains throughout the album make for repetition, but it could be argued just as strongly that theme counts for a lot.

An interesting aspect comes from the ability to dodge the probable security of tried-and-tested standards set by the success of preceding female musicians. Rather than spewing fire and oestrogen in the face of anyone unfortunate enough to come within 50ft, or at the other end of the scale, taking the route of willowy, fluted, earth-goddess warblage, Susy Thomas transcends the pre-determined labels and carves out her own little niche.

Even more admirably, the overall tone of In The Morning carries an unrefined, raw honesty while somehow holding an element of mystery simultaneously. She knows something the rest of us don’t, and evidently she bloody loves rubbing it in our faces. Works damn well too – the quiet enigma contained within In The Morning leaves you wanting a hell of a lot more.

No comments:

Creative Commons Licence
The Sloppy Dog by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.