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This week: Today it Rains, by Esme Bridie

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The cover of 'Today it Rains' by Esme Bridie

The cover of 'Today it Rains' by Esme Bridie

The cover of 'Today it Rains' by Esme Bridie

When it comes to new original music the amount of talented artists that are releasing singles, EPs and albums each week is incredible.

The fact that most of the more credible ones will receive little or no airplay on mainstream radio stations is not as relevant now as it used to because the internet provides an almost endless range of possibilities to discover new music.

This week's featured artist is someone that most people will likely not be familiar with but that doesn't take from the fact she is a formidable talent.

Merseyside's, Esme Bridie's album, 'Today it Rains'. showcases her poetic lyricism to perfection.

Beginning with 'Self Destructive' the album displays a myriad of influences ranging from Joni Mitchell to Joan Baez and the Waterboys.

The opening track also displays hints of Kate Bush.

Beginning with a gentle acoustic guitar pattern and some sparse percussive accompaniment the music provides the perfect foundation for Bridie's exquisite vocal delivery.

The song has a haunting melody and it's mid-tempo beat doesn't take from the melancholic vibe of the track.

The harmony vocals throughout are fantastic and are used to excellent effect on this particular track.

'What You Had Yesterday' is a gentle folky ballad that sits very comfortably within Joni Mitchell territory.

The fantastic thing about Bridie's style is that her songs are poetic stories which lyrically are very striking.

The production on the album is fabulous and even though the accompaniment, at times is sparse, each instrument, each sound, plays a crucial role.

'Tower of Regret' is one of the stand-out tracks on the album and given the current turmoil going on in the world in terms of racial prejudice, especially in America, it carries a powerful message and particular resonance: 'Empty mind and empty words, your rubber bullets they don't hurt too much.'

The way the song changes rhythmically is very interesting and the uptempo nature of the music immediately after each chorus is compelling.

'Only Lonely People' takes things down a very introspective and melancholic path.

A gentle ballad it portrays the full extent of Bridie's vocal capabilities in exemplary fashion.

This is a very thought-provoking song and would provide perfect accompaniment to one's own moments of reflection.

Music and lyrics are two of the world's most powerful tools.

They can inspire rebellion, protests and global movements and in addition to revealing the inner most thoughts of the writer lyrics and music, can also strike a chord in relation to particular moments in the listener's life too.

That's the quality of songwriter that Esme Bridie is. On 'Big Brown Boots' she begins with 'you said do I look free, 'cause I'm desperately pretending to be'.

It's powerful stuff and the melody with which the lyrics are delivered compounds the overall impact.

These are songs that many people will relate to on various levels.

For a very brief moment the intro of 'Strangers' brings to mind the Elvis Presley classic, 'In The Ghetto'.

However, it's only on the intro section but the potency of the lyrics in both songs shouldn't be underestimated.

The way 'Strangers' builds in accompaniment is wonderful to hear and the vocal delivery is fantastic.

'In Love With the City' is one of the most uptempo tracks on the album.

It's also one of the most commercial songs in the collection.

The way the bass emphasises the vocal melody on the chorus is fantastic.

The bass also has a lovely, full warm tone while the snappy, crisp snare drum sound gives the rhythm wonderful clarity.

'Old Love (How Did We Get This Way)' takes things down again tempo-wise.

A gentle ballad it is similar to something that Jewel might come up with and focuses on love that has gone down a regretful cul-de-sac from which there is no return.

'The Queen Bee' is another song that features fantastic bass accompaniment. It has a lovely, loose jazzy feel and the cello accompaniment is also brilliant to hear.

The melancholy continues on 'Dirty Hands' which highlights the need, for perhaps, everyone, to reflect and prioritise what's really important.

'Only Young' begins with a lovely descending guitar line and it implores the listener to take pay attention to what's being said.

The album culminates with the wonderful 'Precious Life'.

The downbeat nature of the album is such that it's the type of recording that could easily provide perfect background accompaniment during lazy evenings relaxing in company or as a means for the listener to take reflective time out.

Gorey Guardian