Every once in a while, you hear a song, music, a voice, a lyric that forces you to stop what you are doing and just listen. So much popular music is throwaway, ho-hum stuff that is just noise at the end of the day. But, sometimes, and not often enough, something special emerges and stops you in your tracks.
I bring you news of a stunning 6-song collection from Northern Ireland singer-songwriter Mandy Bingham.
The album can be sampled and downloaded via Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mandy-Bingham-Vol-1/dp/B00XA035S6/ref=sr_1_1?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1436089255&sr=1-1&keywords=mandy+bingham and, I'm sure, other outlets. I urge you to check it out and invest £4.49 to the benefit of your head, heart and soul.
I listened to the 6 tracks on Spotify. I'm listening now as I write this.
The opening track, Turn Out The Light, is as atmospheric a song as you are ever likely to hear. The percussion is addictive and the lyrics are heartbreaking and sung beautifully. Stunning.
Calm Before The Storm - "It's like sleeping with the enemy, holding tightly to your hand, it's like crawling through a quagmire looking for a place to land......" A relationship is analysed with raw honesty and a weariness that just wants you to reach in, hug the singer and see her safely on her way to a better place. Sublime.
"I'm struggling with the world I'm living in....." sings Mandy on Oblivion as she yearns for some escape, some solitude, time to clear the head and escape the complications of life. It sounds morose but the arrangement has an optimistic bounce to it. Great drums and guitar playing, as well as the vocal performance make this a memorable track. Outstanding.
The most emotional song of the 6 is If This Is Love - "If this is love, I don't think I have the heart for it......" I mentioned rawness and honesty earlier but this sad song moves us up several levels. This is heart and soul bared, disappointment and regret on display for all to hear. Simple guitar background and close-up singing leads you to believe that you, the listener, are a shoulder to cry on, a friendly ear.
When I read the title - The Chicken Song - I braced myself for a daft novelty track but what I heard was a gentle country tune, almost the exact opposite of If This Is Love. It is an upbeat song, a sort of lifestyle list of wishes, (including chickens in the yard), and lots of nice dreams and ambitions. It bounces along and, after a few plays, I know I'd be singing the chorus. Lovely.
The 6th track is a remix by Ryan Vail of If This Is Love - moody, electronic, experimental and, sorry for the boring word, interesting. I much prefer the original track but it is never wrong nor bad for an artist to rework or reshape material. A grower?
Mandy Bingham Vol. 1 is a classy collection of songs written and sung by one of the most refreshing and confident singers I have heard in a long time. The musicians, the arrangements and the production are all exceptional. I urge you to check it out, sample it and buy it. If you are not impressed, then I don't know what's the matter with you.
Good luck with it, Mandy. It deserves to be a big success and a ticket to even greater things. Roll on Vol. 2.
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