Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Album Review - Kathyrn Joseph - Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I've Spilled

Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I’ve Spilled  is the debut release from Aberdeen based solo artist Kathryn Joseph and, despite the sparse instrumentation and fragile nature of Kathryn’s vocal style, it is a powerful, almost soulful album that deserves much attention.

The songs are based around piano sounds that are skillfully produced to sound haunting and fragile and acoustic guitars that add to that mood.  You start off feeling as if more needs to be added to the songs to give them depth but on your second and subsequent listens, it soon becomes apparent that nothing else is needed at all.

The nature of the lyrics, confessional and raw in places marries perfectly to the music, with each song drawing you in, time and time again.  I must admit that, on first listen, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the album and couldn’t really push through the atmosphere that surrounds each track.  Further plays of the album, and there have been many, have opened it up to me though and each listen is a rewarding one.

Perhaps the best example of how this album works is opener The Bird.  A reverb heavy but beautifully melodic piano line leads into Kathryn’s Joanne Newsome like vocals which lend a real air of emotional fragility to the piece.  The song is simple but fairly stark lyrically and, like many of the tracks here, gives you an indication that there has been recent heartbreak but never tells you the full story.  Her singing style means you don’t pick up everything initially which is yet another reason to revisit the album time and time again.

Other standouts include The Want  and closer The Weary,  but my favourite track is The Why What, Baby?  which is a beautiful centerpiece to the album offering some light and some hope, whilst still retaining the other worldly atmosphere that pervades the record.

There is real beauty on this album and one of its key traits is the simplicity of the songs and that is something that particularly enhances its whole impact. 

- David McElroy

Kathryn Joseph - bones you have thrown me and blood I've spilled  is out now via Hits The Fan Records and can download or purchased on CD/vinyl here.

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