Olivia Chaney: The Longest River review – an enchanting, stately creation

(Nonesuch)

Much lauded on her arrival a few years back, English singer-songwriter Olivia Chaney has taken her time with this debut album. Her aim proves sure. It’s a spare work, rarely using more than guitar and piano for her sharp but agile vocals, and adopting a neoclassical approach. Purcell’s There’s Not a Swain sits alongside the traditional False Bride and a trilling version of Alasdair Roberts’s lovely Waxwing. Her own songs, including the acclaimed King’s Horses and title track, can sound formal, but references to holiday parks, launderettes and Freud ground them, and her Joni-like vocal wanderings are never overstretched. An enchanting, stately creation.

Contributor

Neil Spencer

The GuardianTramp

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