Amelia Curran “Watershed” (Six Shooter Records, 2017)

Canadian singer-songwriter Amelia Curran utilises folk, country and pop in fine fashion. Her roving artistic style showing hints of Nashville famed acts Beth Nielsen Chapman and Rosanne Cash, and on the song No More Quiet I found traces of Shawn Colvin. Such the resolute feel of the song, the listener can’t help but be impressed with her work.

From St. John’s Newfoundland, Curran made her first album in 2000 when butin her teens, and now it seems she is ready to build on her audience as another step or two is taken up music’s artistic ladder. It is claimed Watershed marks a threshold and a directional change, and the tenor of the new album is openness (not to be confused with optimism), a reflection in part of Curran’s increasing public efforts to battle the stigma of mental health issues in the arts. How this works I am unsure, but I could easily believe those pushed to the fore too early are more likely to become casualties.

Curran writes beautifully, and with her warm persuasive tones she makes every lyric count as she awakens the innermost emotions of the listener, from opening Move A Mile right on through to the album’s closing piece You Have Got Each Other by way of restless title-track Watershed and the likes of the poppy Gravity her current single. Guided by restless instrumentation and harmony vocals No More Quiet gathers a soulful momentum.

Ever creating, but never wandering too far from the nucleus of her sound Curran eases into an interesting pop-inflected space for Try, and though not necessarily my favoured style from her it does offer a pleasing dimension. Better and more artistic driven is Every Woman Every Man which offers a great deal of beauty in all departments as it shuffles across the skyline. The same could be said of wistful ballad, Act Of Human Kindness as Curran speaks in tender terms of the beauty out there. I like the humour shown on Stranger Things Have Happened – as the tracks unfolds featuring liberal helpings of lead electric guitar it gives the album the thrust to stop people in their tracks, and give the lady a serious listen.

One or two songs may find her experimenting a little too much but there is no denying her immense talent.

Author: Maurice Hope

Work for CEF, live in Hexham, Northumberland. Americana, country, folk and bluegrass Journalist since 1988 and currently write for Americana-UK.com, Flyinshoes and live reviews for Northern Echo and Jumpin' Hot Club. Enjoy photography, walking, natural history, travel, reading and writing poetry.

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