Filed under: album, review | Tags: moth in the motor, rachael dadd, richard steele
Moth In The Motor •••½
Broken Sound Music
Okay, so maybe you shouldn’t judge a record by its cover, but Rachael Dadd definitely knows how to make her music pleasing on the eye. Previous releases have been packaged in hand-sewn textile pouches, and for this new mini-album she’s letting fans create their own covers, which will be printed and sold with the 10” alongside her own hand-painted version. In this era of, some might say, disposable digital music, it’s refreshing to see someone put so much love and care into how the fruits of their labour are presented to the masses. Having said all that, it’s the music that really counts, and we are in safe hands. Dadd is already a seasoned performer in her hometown of Bristol and has toured as far afield as Japan, both as a solo artist and as one half of bands The Hand and Whalebone Polly. Equally adept with a piano, guitar, banjo, clarinet or harmonium, for Moth In The Motor she’s decided to concentrate on the piano, turning in a stripped-back set that lets the songs speak for themselves.
Dadd’s voice is pleasing rather than unique, but she has a self confidence and a lightness of touch that works well in such an intimate setting. She’s clearly happy at the piano, pounding the keys into a dramatic ebb and flow on ‘Age Of The Clock’ and ‘Moth In The Motor’, and knowing when to reign things in and keep them simpler, such as on opener ‘Table’. Though none of the songs have much in the way of hooks to get you humming along, they do become more distinct with repeated listens, working their way into the consciousness over time. But while there’s no doubt that Moth In The Motor is an accomplished record with considerable depth, it perhaps lacks the necessary spark to assert its position among the ever-widening pool of talented piano-based singer-songwriters. The consistency of the production makes a neat and cohesive whole of these eight songs, but pushing out the boundaries a little could have made all the difference.
UK release date: 15/02/10; www.myspace.com/rachaeldadd
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