After fronting the short-lived indie/retro rock group Laura & The Tears, singer/songwriter Laura Welsh relocated to London to find herself; briefly she began working under the name Hey Laura, only to then use her birth name to release her solo work. 2o13 and 2014 have been exciting years for Welsh, she featured on Gorgon City’s Here For You single, her song Break The Fall was featured as the iTunes US ‘Single Of The Week’ back in July, plus the news of her debut album release unravelled over the months. This Laura Welsh, her debut album is called Soft Control, this is exciting!
Welsh is exploring a darker side to her music, album opener Soft Control consists of and retains an atmosphere of deep resonating tones, the synths are to die for and the steady but sure beat carries it; the single Ghosts carries the same tradition, but this time with a chilling piano introduction and a faster drum bash, the vocal work in this track is haunting yet wonderful. It’s easy to hear why iTunes US selected Break The Fall as their ‘Single Of The Week’, it’s a catchy little number that entices you from the first note; Unravel, although it is still pretty much ravelled in the experimental pop vibe going on with the album, is slightly different and the airy arrangement allows more focus on the vocal than before. There’s a wow factor with the song God Keeps, Laura’s vocal part is right on the level and the overall upbeat vibe of the song leaves you wanting more.
The dark eeriness continues with Cold Front, another notable effort, and Laura works with John Legend on the favourable ballad Hardest Part; the percussive Still Life is shy from something you would hear play over the menu of Foxtel/Pay TV, a more interesting background song anyway. Breathe Me In is introduced by the smooth tonal quality of the piano and synths, it’s not long before Welsh comes in with her luscious vocal accompanied by the beat; Call To Arms has an intriguing arrangement, the vocal in the chorus doesn’t rise to the heights Laura could have taken it, rather your ears are treated to a blossomed atmosphere with a relaxed vocal. Last but not least, the track Hollow Drum is refreshingly different, there’s not a lot of instrumentation going on and it gives you a chance to reflect on the charm that has resonated throughout the album and this song.
Laura Welsh has certainly found her calling, and this is well represented with Soft Control, a debut album she should be able to look back on proudly as she progresses with her promising solo career; there’s an underlying beauty in each track, each apple sounds different yet they all fell from the same tree, that’s what is so right about the album. Laura’s voice is beautiful, if UK singer Adele was going to steer into the experimental pop genre Soft Control would be the end result; the production of this album is also commendable, Welsh called in the likes of Emile Haynie (Lana Del Ray and Eminem) and Dev Hynes to produce her work, a great job has been done here. Soft Control will be a must have album of 2015!