In the Seams – Saint SaviourCultureMusicAlbum reviews
During her days touring with big beaters Groove Armada and promoting her collaborations on the their album Black Light, Saint Saviour’s Rebecca Jones painted herself as a cyber-clothed vibrant showgirl somewhere between Robyn, La Roux and Annie Lennox. It is usually only when a solo LP is unleashed that we truly hear an electronic singer’s vocal potential away from the computerised sonics.
Jones’ musical metamorphosis begun with her debut Union, which gave us an insight into her classically trained voice, fused together with wild and sublime moments of art pop, which rightfully led to comparisons with fellow English musician Kate Bush. Negatively, the album seemed so obsessed with sounding like her aforementioned muse that it had trouble finding its own personality. With all the shape-shifting, it’s intriguing to predict the likelihood that her career will go down a similarly confused path as Australian singer Sia, but for now it’s worth saluting her progress.
Next album In the Seams is more welcoming, honest and transparent than the last, and unravels a new identity. The electronic influence of Groove Armada has evaporated, assisted by producer Bill Ryder Jones of The Coral. The Kate Bush impersonation and hysterics have disintegrated completely, giving Jones a footprint on the pianist/singer-songwriter sound. This being a successful style that worked so well for Rachel Zeffira, when she left her experimental band Cat’s Eyes to venture out solo.
Despite her voice being innocent and delicate, Jones’ U-turned career has matured with an intention to be taken seriously, as she has added the Manchester Camerata Orchestra to her armoury. Their inclusion is suitably subtle and convenient, rather than dramatic and rambunctious, allowing listeners to visualise her songs as soundtracks to snowy animated Christmas commercials with moralist messages.
The superlative moments come in the form of Sad Kid and James. In the former, Jones substitutes a piano for an acoustic guitar as the undercoat for an orchestral violin that echoes Javier Navarrete’s Pan’s Labyrinth film score. The penultimate James begins with a haunting glockenspiel before Jones’ voice whispers effortlessly, as if she is singing a lullaby to herself in the mirror. It’s a typical example of her dazzling transition from showmanship to minimalistic intimacy, and contributes heavily to this being one of the easiest albums to listen to on a relaxing Sunday afternoon.
Matt Taylor Hobbs
In the Seams was released on 3rd November 2014, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for James here: