Nancy Elizabeth – Battle and Victory (2007)
With an intuitive understanding of melody and dynamics, Nancy Elizabeth brings a refreshingly Northern turn of phrase to her debut album, Battle and Victory.
The Lancashire-born singer’s down-to-earth songs are brought to life by her warm and unaffected voice. Unpretentious but effortlessly ambitious, Nancy turns the retro, less-is-more aesthetic of the current acoustic revival on its head. Not content with writing and singing all the songs herself, the 23 year-old also plays most of the instruments, including guitar, khim, Indian harmonium, Appalachian dulcimer and bouzouki, amongst many others.
Prominently featured is a 22-string Celtic harp, which she first picked up a little over two years ago, after an inspirational chance meeting with a harp player at a Liverpool gallery. Not long afterwards she received a modest award from a music foundation, and within days had spent it all on the perfect instrument, which has become a cornerstone of her performances.
The album was recorded in a 17th Century white stone cottage in the remote Welsh countryside, and a village hall outside Manchester, resulting in an intimate, uncontrived gem of a record. Using a minimum of recording equipment, the heartfelt honesty of her songs is revealed, extending to grander, more complex arrangements when the occasion calls, and bringing in friends to add cello, horns and percussion. While her work is never in thrall to any particular artist or genre, Nancy’s music calls to mind aspects of artists as diverse as Nina Nastasia, The Incredible String Band, Radiohead, Jacqui McShee, Mogwai, Talk Talk and Led Zeppelin.
mp3 VBR~223 kbps | 74 MB | UL