- 08 Jan 20
IRISH CELLIST & SONGWRITER OPTS FOR THE ROAD LESS TAKEN
Damien Rice's one-time cellist, Vyvienne Long, has been championed by artists as diverse as Ed Sheeran, The New Triangle and DJ Kormac. A Lifetime Of High Fives is her third album, and the overdue follow-up to 2013's Vyvienne Long Live with the Balanescu Quartet.
The sumptuous tones of a jaunty cello herald beguiling female vocals on the waltzing 'Seahorse', which whets the appetite for more. But what follows is often much darker, and far more mysterious and unsettling. 'Let Go' is made of sterner stuff, with Long's pleading vocals evoking Bjork at her impish best. Some deft finger-picking opens 'This Monster', though it soon ups the ante with a catchy chorus. Initially, the piano-lead 'Photographs' is a more conventional affair, before eventually moving into familiar Long territory. The lyrics express a raw sense of insecurity.
'You're The Sun' has a sparseness stemming from Long's vocals and atmospheric piano, before sailing off to distant places you don't want to return from. There's even a bluesy tinge to 'Enough', with its powerful lyrics addressing violence against women. On the urgent 'Money Stuff', meanwhile, she revolts against crass materialism. The album ends with 'Some Wretched Curse', the lyrics of which articulate confusion about which path to take in life.
Listeners, thankfully, are likely to be less hesitant and opt decisively for repeat listens.