Hattie Briggs “Young Runaways” (Wise Dog Records, 2016)

Hattie BriggsIt’s hard not to draw comparisons to other female singers and songwriters whilst listening to this record, as it has so many of them referenced along the way, it is such a striking lineage you find yourself trying to place the reference constantly. Briggs will clearly be enjoyed by the fans of artists like Bush, King, Chapman, Armatrading and Mitchell; and is deserving of that company.  All those artists possess what Briggs does, a deftness of touch with her song writing and her subject selection, a less is more approach with some lovely delicate production – the emotion of the record truly glistens.  The use of strings to interweave with her voice will make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

Its aim is clearly to showcase Briggs, this is album number 2, and it does a fine job, it offers little new, and isn’t innovative or moving music on, and I doubt that it is its purpose; for example  ‘Digging to Australia’ is bright and cheery and so upbeat even she gets the giggles in the end, charming but not something new, it doesn’t need to be.  It’s the natural nature of the record, the blend of piano ballads, country infused songs and exquisite use of strings that means Briggs reaffirms your faith that music can be more than throwaway. A delight.

Author: Rudie Humphrey

Rudie is the weekly host of the syndicated radio show - The Horseshoe Lounge Music Session - playing the best American Roots and hosting terrific live guests.

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