SWEET SURRENDER - LAUREN HOUSLEY
LCM ALBUM OF THE MONTH - JANUARY 2016
Release date: 28th August, 2015
Genre: Americana, Soul, Blues, Country
Record Label: Big Bad
Sweet Surrender is the remarkable debut album from Manchester based Lauren Housley and her Band. The album is a beautiful fusion of Soul, Blues and Americana with Lauren's powerful pure and incredible vocals and Thomas Dibb's great guitar and piano playing at its beating heart. The album has real quality feel, with great production and musicality. It ranges from the very up-tempo 'Motown/Mark Ronson-esque' Ghost Town Blues to the very tender 'When Autumn Came' and 'Show Me What Love Is'.
This is a gem, a 'Top 40' quality album waiting to be discovered by the music loving public..... We predict that Lauren and Tom will soon become some of the leading lights of UK Country and Blues.
We first saw Lauren and the Band perform some of these songs live at the recent Prudential BluesFest at the O2, Greenwich...and we have one word...wow!! If you have a chance to catch Lauren and the Band, please do so, you are in for a treat.
Lauren is a native of Rotherham in South Yorkshire but is now based in Manchester. Sweet Surrender contains orginal songs written by Lauren and longtime creative partner Thomas Dibb, they evoke the same ambience as some of her forerunners among strong, empowered female artists, such as Janis Joplin, Eva Cassidy and Lauryn Hill.
After the promise of her ‘Rather Be There’ single and the earlier ‘One Step Closer’ EP, the album confirms the arrival of a vocal and songwriting presence with tinges of blues, Americana-style country, old-school soul, pop and rock in her locker, but a warm, intense and engaging style that’s all her own.
The album starts with the up-tempo rocky and very catchy 'Nice To See Ya'. A song which has been playlisted recently by BBC Radio London.
The soul and gospel tinged and lush 'The Waiting Game' with it's almost Pink Floyd riffs and breaks, is another firm favourite. With a great piano introduction and haunting pedal steel 'If You Were Mine' is a beautiful heartfelt ballad. 'Face The World Alone' is track which draws the listener closer as the emotion builds throughout the song.
The epically powerful Ghost Town Blues is full of Motown and Mark Ronson-esque licks and drum rhythms. It is perfect showcase for Lauren and the Band. It is one of the tracks on the album which has been receiving a lot of interest and radio play. It was also Radio 2 'B' playlisted on it's release.
Another one of our favourite tracks on the album is the very heartful 'When Autumn Came'. Part of the chord structure in the chorus reminds us of Dee C Lee's 'See The Day'. With it's gorgeous string arrangement, this is track which we hope will have future coverage and airplay. With it Neil Young style harmonica and pedal steel the title track Sweet Surrender is another gem. It's bluesy and gospel driven.
Show Me What Love Is a beautifully tender song with a slow-burning intensity and one of our favourites on the album.
The very catchy It Ain't About You is perfect piece of retro Country Rock & Roll with a large helping of Soul and Blues. It wouldn't look out of place on an Austin Power's or a Blues Brothers soundtrack. With it's sublime piano playing and melody All You Need Is A Friend has great drum rhythm behind it and once again showcases Lauren's vocal and the quality and musicality of Lauren and Tom's songwriting.
Sweet Surrender closes with the powerful radio edit of Ghost Town Blues.