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Avalanche

Thea Gilmore

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Album Review

With her deep burnished voice somewhere between Alison Moyet, Sandy Denny, Annie Lennox and Beth Orton, British thrush Gilmore moves a bit closer to the mainstream on her fifth album. Producer Nigel Stonier (who also plays guitar throughout) buffs up the sound but keeps Gilmore's folk-pop intact. The songs are some of her best with "Juliet (Keep that in Mind)" and the Dire Straits flavored "Mainstream" just a few standouts on an album that keeps getting better the more you hear it. Just the hint of loops on a few tracks, in particular the opening "Rags and Bones," also adds to the atmosphere without noticeably polishing up the sound. The lovely "God Knows" is spiritually based but even with its anthemic chorus never sounds preachy. And "Pirate Moon" is the perfect combination of haunting vocals with poignant lyrics. Gilmore never oversings, and even though continually in the spotlight, she exudes a graceful subtlety that other folk-rockers would do well to follow. There are hints of Highway 61 era Dylan in the jaunty "Heads Will Roll" but this is thoughtful, extremely well written, immaculately produced and exquisitely sung contemporary folk with a slight rock edge that never seems pretentious. Although it missed the Lilith train by a few years, it's the album that should put her over the top in America.

Biography

Born: 1979 in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter Thea Gilmore was born to Irish parents in 1979. While coming of age in North Aston, Oxfordshire in England, she ignored the new wave reign of the '80s and instead began to seek out her parents' Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell albums. Later, she found comfort in the work of Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, and the Replacements, naturally absorbing the intelligence behind each artist's work. Gilmore began writing poetry and short stories to amuse herself amidst her conventional surroundings,...
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Avalanche, Thea Gilmore
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