sat 02/03/2024

Album: Katherine Priddy - The Pendulum Swing | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Katherine Priddy - The Pendulum Swing

Album: Katherine Priddy - The Pendulum Swing

The spirits of home and away haunt the acclaimed songwriter’s sophomore album

'A unified set of songs'

Having carried herself to the front rank of young British singer-songwriters with her debut album, 2021’s The Eternal Rocks Beneath, Birmingham-born Katherine Priddy carries her muse from the eternal and mythological poetry of that album for a more centered, experiential sense of time as captured in the back and forth rhythms of The Pendulum Swing.

Sealed at the opening and end by two short, limpid instrumental pieces (“Returning” and “Leaving”), the songs within range from evocations of family – the likes of “Walnut Shell”, about her twin brother, and the self-explanatory “Father of Two” – to an evocation of home in “First House on the Left” that pulls its perspective and ranges from close-up to a more epic widescreen as she considers the home in which she grew up, left, returned to and left again – the pendulum swing of how our lives can play out – as well as setting it in a deeper, broader timescale.

Elsewhere, there are exquisite leave-taking songs, including album highlights “Does She Hold You Like I Did” and a recent single release, “Anyway Always”, which features the voice of its co-writer George Boomsma, as well as John Smith guesting on on slide guitar, both here and on “These Words of Mine”. “Anyway Always” is sparely and beautifully written and sung, and wreathed in a mist of smoky Americana. I can all but hear fellow Brummie Robert Plant and Alison Krauss having a crack at it.

Produced by Simon Weever, who also helmed her Eternal Rocks debut, you’ll hear Morricone-style brass and strings on “Does She Hold You Like I Did”, alongside the instrumental support of Harry Fausing Smith (strings), Marcus Hamblett (brass and double bass), cellist Polly Virr, as well as Smith and Boomsma on guitars, while a subtle underlay of found sounds – what she calls “the ghostly atmospheres, mechanical clockwork sounds, creaking floorboards, indistinct whispers and old tape recordings of my family that are littered throughout”. With her fine vocals, lyrical prowess and musical chops honing tunes to remember, that percolate and gather in strength over successive listens, this is a unified set of songs, an album that compels you to enter, sit down, listen, inhabit and share, as if it were very the house and home she eulogises. Make yourself comfortable.

@CummingTim

Priddy hones tunes to remember, that percolate and gather in strength over successive listens

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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