Sunday 21 July 2013

Helene Greenwood - The Break EP

EP review by

'The Break' EP is released in the run-up to Helene Greenwood's debut album which is due out this summer. She's certainly managed to capture the attention of some impressive names to help work on the project. Produced by Calum McColl (son of Ewan) and featuring Waterboys keyboardist James Hallawell, it's clear her music wasn't going to sound amateurish, and it doesn't. Greenwood states that she's influenced by classic jazz recordings as well as more contemporary sounds, and this can be heard on the slow-burning 'Fools Rush In' where double-bass and piano drift around behind her warm tones, with brass being added later. Most of 'The Break' sounds more modern, but still has that influence ingrained within it.

'Break In Break Out' could have been recorded in a similar fashion, and many of the same sounds appear, along with strings, but here they're given the extra power of modern baroque-pop and the song sounds more up to date and more high tempo, especially once the guitars enter the fray. Just when you think you've heard all the various ways The Cure's 'In Between Days' could be interpreted (check out Taffy's shoegaze version here) Greenwood comes up with this piano and electronics adaption that works a treat. With much of 'The Break' EP consisting of piano-led tracks (see also 'In The Sunshine') it's possibly not one to blow the cobwebs away, but it's immaculately done. 'After The Fire' exemplifies the EP, taking this approach but allowing the song to snowball into something bigger and more accessible. It's tracks like this that make the best starting point, but really you can't go wrong with any of it.

Helene Greenwood's website

Buy the EP

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