Less dark than Ballads singer-pianist Liane Carroll’s new album Seaside with its coastal theme, hearing the affecting title track written by singer-pianist Joe Stilgoe you can almost smell the salt in the air, hear the seagulls swooping down from the sky, practically taste the smell of fish and chips drifting up from the friers through the open doors of the seafront chippies.
Later the Kurt Weill/Ira Gershwin classic ‘My Ship’, standard ‘I Cover The Waterfront’ and the hymn ‘For Those in Peril of the Sea’ (a slightly offputting inclusion at the end) are all part of the theme.
Carroll has a huge voice and uses its great facility in a number of ways whether it’s teasing out the jazzier side of her style on Lerner and Loewe song ‘Almost Like Being in Love’ – she jokes at gigs that this is a seaside-themed track too as in almost like being in Hove – or finding a new context for the Arthur Kent/Sylvia Dee song ‘Bring Me Sunshine’, which became the theme song for Morecambe and Wise, Carroll knowing how to strip the song back rather than dressing it in American clothes but kitting it out in more homely music hall clobber that suits just fine.
Tearjerker Mary Gauthier song ‘Mercy Now’ is easily the pick of the album encapsulating everything Carroll has to offer in the space of a single song.
Easily one of Carroll’s finest and most accessible albums to date Seaside spreads its net wide across blues, jazz and her own musical memories hauling in quite a catch.
Released on 18 September