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Album Review: Thea Gilmore – Murphy’s Law

3 min read

Oxfordshire born folk singer songwriter Thea Gilmore has been in the game for over ten years now and in that time has established herself as an acclaimed artist on the folk/pop circle after releases such as Songs From The Gutter, last years Strange Communion and her 1998 debut, Burning Dorothy and in that time gained A-list fans including Bruce Springsteen and Joan Baez.

TheaGilmoreMurphysLawAlways proudly holding onto her roots, the singer has now released her tenth full length offering, Murphy’s Law, which includes the single, You’re The Radio. With the folk genre becoming increasingly crowded over the past twelve months, Thea Gilmore provides us with a youthful veteran of folk as well as an impressive and solid body of work and a fresh sound which is heard throughout this latest release.

The figurative This Town ushers in Gilmore’s impressive word-play laden tenth record. The strutting chorus that comes loaded with an embracing trumpet section adds an early compliment to album. “Well hello my little train wreck, I’m your worst fear. I’m a mortuary postcard. I’m a graveyard souvenir” Gilmore sings as she sets the metaphoric and poetic disposition of the record and gives us an early yet correct assumption that all that follows will be just as poetic and sentimental as this opening number.

God’s Got Nothing On You provides the album with a sweet falsetto track combining a catchy sing along chorus and parading rhythm to form one of the albums gems.

Due South is a gorgeous track which carries an almost cinematic vibe and just leaps out at you with single potential. It’s a charismatic number packed delicately with a orchestral string arrangement. The opening acoustic strumming seems to connect to Gilmore’s voice exquisitely and with the singers lyrical optimism like the tracks line “looking for hope in stiletto heels”, the song is the perfect portrayal of a musician that has evolved into a refined artist with a depth and knowledge of life.

Automatic Blue is a gentle number that carries a subtle similarity to fellow female singer songwriter, Shawn Colvin. It’s light country feel opens up a new sound to Murphy’s Law and extends an arm of variety to the predominantly folk heavy album. Its violin inclusions make the track sound even more raw yet solid.

Nearing the end of the record we get a sudden wave of rebellion in the form of Teach Me To Be Bad. Fully dressed in a beefy horn section and big band sound the track is the upbeat heart of the record. Its countdown chorus is a memorable snag and the effortless vocals swing and strut through the almost four minute swagger of proclaimed confidence.

How The Love Gets In is a delicate piano inclusion on Murphy’s Law. The track is showered in Gospel balladry and really stands out on the record among the more folk numbers heard here. Its gentle key structure is emotive and carried nicely by Gilmore’s vulnerable and passionately textured vocals.

Constructing Murphy’s Law sounds like no easy feat at all. The craft and precision to the tracks featured here wreak of dedication and stand strong as accomplished, mainstream and ambitious entities and maybe with this tenth release that ambition will become a realization.

The record is vocally impressive as well as musically admiring in its construction and Murphy’s Law further captures Gilmore’s talents and standing among Britain’s folk achievements. Though she hasn’t quite broken through the mainstream barrier just yet, Murphy’s Law could quite possibly be the record that cracks that wall over the coming months.