Singer Bella Hardy releases her new album Songs Lost and Stolen this month. With earthy ballads by the bucket load, this twelve track album is a welcome addition to any folk lovers’ music shelf.
Album opener Labyrinth envelops you with a heady mixture of push and pull, guided by the vocals but determined by the strings. This song manages to create an epic sense of being misplaced, lost and trapped in an emotional maze with seemingly never ending twists and turns enclosing you to no avail or reprise. It is an excellent album opener and promises a lot from the next eleven songs.
Songs Lost and Stolen peaks and dips with skill and fortitude, rebel rousing tracks such as Written in Green could easily be found being played in a traditional pub setting. It has all the elements to become a folk classic with its energetic accordion accompaniment.
Softer elements on the album can be seen on ballads such as Walk It With You. For want of a better word this song is simply beautiful. The backing vocals provided by Kris Drever, a harmonious union which gives depth, warmth and a sense of validity and completion to the lyrical content. Sad and melancholic, when they both sing ‘This isn’t your story it is just a subplot’ you are instantly confronted with the reality that life is just this, a series of subplots, chapters, experiences that make us who we are. This is furthered by the resolute proclamation in the later lyrics ‘Happy endings are few.’ Wow.
This song is reminiscent of the male/female duo Mark Lanegan and Isobel Campbell but without the rough and gritty edges. My one real disappointment with this album is that there are not more songs of this collaboration. It would be amazing if the next album was indeed a concerted effort from these two singers. On the whole, the album has some stand alone songs that are very impressive however the album rests on fillers and not enough songs of import.