This timeless tune from Marion Halliday is beautifully sung and beautifully captured. I imagine that whoever recorded this tune spent quite a bit of time constructing her vocal chain to optimise her sound.
She harmonises to herself beautifully, in a manner not dissimilar to Eva Cassidy, but with a faster vibrato.
We get to enjoy some tasteful plucked guitar parts. Vocal phrasing comes to an end, and the delightful chord change takes place in the gaps – a really traditional but satisfying technique.
There are some ethereal reverse reverb moments on the way into and out of the tune and again on the song’s bridge, where the tempo takes a downturn and we’re treated to a lush moment that wouldn’t sound out of place on Beck’s seminal album, Sea Change. It’s these little moments of production sparkle that help elevate this tune to somewhere rather special.
It would be very easy to make comparisons to both the The Staves and First Aid Kit at this point, but the truth is, while there is a very traditional edge to proceedings here in terms of instrumentation, Marion doesn’t sound like either of them. Treated strings swoon along like squeezeboxes, guitars work together with a comforting stereo spread. Bass quietly thrums and underpins. The lead vocal’s vibrato is confident, but relaxed. The harmonising to the lead vocal is effortless but vital. The harmonies chosen warm the song through to the core.
It’s a delicate and thoughtful piece that showcases a tremendous, characterful vocal.
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