Fiona Hare – Keep Me Wild – Album Review
I actually get a lot of questions regarding my threshold of acceptance and ability to examine all kinds of music and styles. I’ll be asked; “isn’t it difficult, or boring, or hard, or a pain to go through so much music in search of the good stuff out there?
To which my answer has been the same for years now – “No. And how the heck do YOU do it?”
The truth? Most people refer to sites like ours or other reliable sources out there to MINE and SCOUR the internet, take recommendations from friends, listen to every disc placed in our waiting hands and relay that information to YOU out there…and that’s exactly what I’m doing here today. I want to tell you about a special artist out there I stumbled across through the Bandcamp website and HAD to tell you about. Her name is Fiona Hare – all the way from South Africa.
This bearded face that writes to you all now…is an extreme fan of beautiful music. Many of you who have seen our show SBS Live This Week are often taken aback by just how much this face can hold on a folacle-level, but let me just tell you all now…it’s great music that gives it the strength to push out hair after hair, and if I’m bearded at all in the eyes of this world, it’s all thanks to that same amount of amazing music I mine and hunt for daily. I feel like I’ve put an extra inch to the bottom of my chin after listening to Keep Me Wild, the new album from Fiona. This melodic and atmospheric album has all the right pieces in all the right places.
I’ve listened to this album many times at this point, even though I discovered it was only recently released at the end of March this year. And truthfully, I am desperately wanting to start this review at the END of the album, but there’s so much to talk about in between pushing play and those final notes that it would be a misstep to take you there first.
Opening Keep Me Wild with a track called “Desert Rose,” Fiona opens up a musical vein right away and bleeds out right onto the record. In a beautiful and isolated beginning, much becomes clear upon that very first sample – Fiona can certainly write an incredible song and perform them with maximum conviction.
There are times in our lives, especially solo-artists, that require a little assurance from an outside source that we’re on the right track…
Well Fiona? I’m here to do just that. Nice to meet you, my name is Jer @ SBS…
For real though – she carries her initially displayed grace instantly into the tracks to follow. “Ambulance For Hearts” and “Black Dog,” both sultry and sexy, slow-flowing jazzy/electronic tracks that showcase her ability for fantastic lyrics and passionate delivery. One can only hope from this side of the screen & having never actually interacted with her, that Fiona somewhere out there knows just how truly good she IS. These tracks will remind you of some of the best out there in the female-voice kingdom, notably Feist and Nina Persson, formerly of The Cardigans. All three of these singers, Fiona included, have that beautiful tone accompanied by a soft whisper that comes in perfectly every once in a while.
One of the major reasons I’m loving this album is the song “Magick.” With a gorgeously-sad piano background…Fiona sings quietly and perfectly over top of this song, letting us all into some of the truest feelings spread out over this album. As hopeful as it is desolate – this track racks the full 100% of points for me…absolutely full of raw emotion and true-feelings.
In the tracks that followed, “Hands,” “More,” and “Deeper” – there was no drop in quality, no sense of becoming tired or any less interesting than when she started this album. “Hands” plays out like a single-worthy song and “More,” along with “Deeper” take the proper measures to ensure that this album doesn’t become stagnant around the 7th & 8th track like so many albums out there unfortunately do. Keep Me Wild sounds incredibly focused throughout and you get the sense pretty quickly in that these were songs that NEEDED to come out of Fiona, lest she might die with them and the feelings exploding inside her.
This is the thing: “This Is The Thing” is a great reminder that she’s a folk-artist stepping into an electronic world…I think this track serves the album as a fantastic display of her roots before embarking onto the final two cuts off this excellent album…
And we’re HERE! Like I said somewhere in there towards the beginning….much of me wanted to start the review at this point in the album, if only to highlight what creating a memorable and lasting impression on a listener truly sounds like. Cause if you’re out there right now…and you’re wondering about that very thing…listen to these final tracks on Keep Me Wild, “Could I” and “Galilee” and you’ll have a blueprint for your own success cause Fiona Hare has absolutely done that here. These two tracks are so well made that it becomes impossible to NOT talk about how strong this album becomes by the very end.
“Could I,” is an incredibly comfortable song for Fiona. Catchy and thoughtful, bringing the electronic-influence to her folk-music a little more upfront once again but never becoming mechanical – her use of electronic sounds and beats have never been over-stepped on this album. Always an accent, but never a trick she relies on, you can bet safely that if you find yourself liking any of these tracks on Keep Me Wild that the very reason is the main attraction herself – Fiona delivers flawlessly on every moment of this new album.
The final track, “Galilee,” is everything I want in the last song on an album to entice me to a repeat listen. As haunting as it is beautiful, rich in tone and melody…straight up, this is a track I’ll never want to forget and an artist who will now be under our watchful eyes awaiting news and new music for the rest of time. If an album were anything like the ABC’s of Sales (Always Be Closing) – this final cut puts the pen in your willing hands and gains your commitment in signature to come back for another listen.
So. Yeah. So there. THIS is why I listen to anything I can that comes across this desk…because sometimes, not always but sometimes…you find an incredible undiscovered talent like Fiona Hare out there that makes the entire journey so fulfilling and worthwhile.
Go check this out!
You can find her on Facebook right here at: https://www.facebook.com/FionaJeanHare
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