Ellen Starski “Sara’s Half-Finished Love Affair” (Independent, 2020)

Throughout this album, born of a couple of chance encounters with Sara which led to a great friendship and the sharing of deeply personal experiences, Nashville-based artist and songwriter Ellen Starski explores and exquisitely illustrates the nomadic lifestyle of a drifter couple destined to be together, in a remarkably entrancing way.
The opening track, ‘Come to me‘, has an irresistible allure taking you deep into a heady vortex of elegance. Starski’s pure and dream-like vocal is utterly seductive, making it impossible to switch off.

Next up, ‘Have We Forgotten‘, is perhaps less flirtatious and more questioning yet loses nothing of the delicacy of Starski’s voice which is married consummately to flawless, soulful musicianship throughout every song on the album. The lilting blend of the vocal & musicality, together with the immaculate production, make this a very appealing album to listen to on repeat.
Sara’s Story, the accompanying text behind ‘Sara’s Half-Finished Love Affair’ brings additional light and life to this enthralling listening experience. Maybe you prefer to interpret an album for yourself, but in this instance, the back story does add dimension to this concept album.
Something of a departure from her first solo Americana album, ‘Sara’s Half-Finished Love Affair’ is co-written which, by Starski’s admission, was “both liberating and a bit difficult”. And there are times during this listening experience when you would be forgiven for thinking it is like Kate Bush meets Katie Melua. However, Starski states she remains true to herself while allowing herself to take risks and grow as an artist. The resulting vocal and orchestral beauty from the beginning to the end of this album validates that the gamble has paid off.

A wonderful listening experience from Nashville-based artist
9/10

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