Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Review: I am Not Lefthanded – The Fire and The Sigh

The Fire & The Sigh by I Am Not Lefthanded album coverFiercely independent, female-fronted Irish indie trio I Am Not Lefthanded are known for their lyrical, evocative songs and quirky home made videos. Playing sparse but uplifting post-grunge music, they've been described as sounding like ‘Natalie Merchant fronting Death Cab for Cutie’.

Well, that's their version. A discovery I made via Dan Lynch's eclectic music podcast Rathole Radio (ratholeradio.org), the band consists of Kathryn Williams from the far west of Ireland, Belfast-born Daniel Frazer and Benji Savigear, a Cornish drummer.

The Celtic connection gives them a sound close to Amy MacDonald, with a nod to The Cranberries, without taking anything away from Williams characterful vocals and emotive songs. If they sound familiar it may be you heard the band’s music in a number of TV shows and indie films - including a global ad campaign for P&G. With this, their first full album, I Am Not Lefthanded have a fully formed commercial pop-rock sound and I have no problem with any of it.

Brace Brace sets out the stall at a brisk pace. Return is an assertive piece of song-writing set in a neatly minimalist production with real immediacy. You can get in close to this album and almost think of it as a live performance. Spark slows things right down; No Time proves there are no weak tracks in this lyrically strong collection of songs; intelligent narrative and sparing use of cliché means you have words to match the melodies. You can hear all the lyrics but its worth reading, too, there's some great poetry in there.

Late Night Drive does mainstream rock/pop and could grace any radio station on the planet. Screamager has that sound of Celtic fiddle, a curious frame for an angry song of unrequited love. Alone (it's not so bad) is a last quiet introspective pause ahead of the strongest track, It Falls to Me, an uplifting, surefire, mainstream hit.

I Am Not Lefthanded prove there is life outside the pop charts, but if there was any justice, they would be at the top. RC

The Fire & The Sigh by I Am Not Lefthanded 
The digital 8-track album is available for immediate download in your choice of MP3 320, FLAC and other formats for ₤7 GBP (or more).

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