Monday, 12 May 2008

ALBUM: Cathy Davey - Tales Of Silversleeve (Regal)

According to the press release sent with this record, Graham Coxon is a fan of the wonderful Ms Davey. The bespectacled guitarist has superb taste then, if that’s true, as ‘Tales of Silversleeve’ is a glorious album from start to finish, eleven tracks of beautifully delicate folk-pop that would make it seem like the sun was blazing in the middle of a storm. This album, Davey’s second record, was released in her native Ireland at the back end of last year and has already earned her an award at the Irish equivalent of the Brits. Which not only shows that ‘Tales of Silversleeve’ is getting the recognition it deserves but also that the people who decide who wins awards in Ireland have infinitely better taste than those who do over here. But I digress.

Opening track ‘Sing for Your Supper’ is an uplifting start to the record with Davey’s voice immediately sending shivers down spines, the echo effect added by producer Stephen Street builds and constantly teases that it will lead into a euphoric soundscape of strings but never does. Not that this matters of course, the consistent progression from loud back to quiet makes the track sound exciting and exquisite.

‘Reuben’ is an outstanding pop song with elements of Belle & Sebastian and Arcade Fire creeping through the mix every now and then. ‘Mr Kill’ is a simple but brilliant effort that also makes use of a farfisa, which should be applauded in itself. ‘Overblown Love Song’ is a crushingly gorgeous ode to romance that could be described as anything but overblown. Closing track ‘All of You’ loses all of Davey’s musical collaborators who lend her a hand throughout the rest of the LP, with her playing all instruments on this song, a gentle, poetic end to a record that should be earning the Irish lady a lot of respect all over the country and beyond.

Standout track: Mr Kill

Rhian Daly

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