After having left a considerable impression with her 2011 album Gravel & Wine, we’re finally treated to a new release by Gin Wigmore. The songwriting on the previous release was marketable enough to see Wigmore’s tracks featured various popular US TV shows and even that high budget Heineken commercial with Daniel Craig as James Bond. It certainly was a high benchmark to set, but Blood To Bone is a highly personal release that does not fall short.
Only one single has been released from the new album so far, and it was one hell of a teaser when I listened to New Rush a couple of months ago. I don’t think this could have gone anywhere but at Track 1. Featuring menacing riffs and some serious attitude in Wigmore’s vocals, it’s a song that will make you drop what you’re doing and pay attention.
Having had a break from music in between releases, some changes in Wigmore’s sound is to be expected. There’s no drastic change in direction, but we get to hear a lot of different aspects of the Kiwi singer-songwriter’s diverse vocals. On the one hand, her powerful, signature raspy wail emerges in fine form with a gutsy choruses and refrains on Nothing To No One and 24. On the other, a number of the tracks show us a more delicate side to Wigmore’s songwriting and vocal delivery. The most striking example is the closing track I Will Love You, which features just piano and tender vocals. In My Way also demonstrates Wigmore’s ability to manipulate her voice to create striking contrast – three vocal sections in this song sound so distinct that they could just as well be three separate voices singing them.
Aside from being a testament to Gin Wigmore’s ability to nail a performance, Blood To Bone also demonstrates that her songwriting ability is strong and personal as ever and still evolving. Written In The Water is a dose of nostalgia reminiscent of her playful side, while Black Parade is mournful through its thoughtful progression of chords to complement the dark vocal line: “I can be what you lost/I can be what you lost/Black parade I give in/I will hang from within.” This is just one example of many evocative lyrics that reside within Blood To Bone. It’s an album that seems personal on every track, as though we’re being given an insight into various states of mind that the artist has been through in recent years. Wigmore has re-emerged with a powerful and honest release that is sure to hit the ground running on its release.