‘Hide Away From Love’, the title track of Jennifer Vaudrey’s debut EP, stopped me in my tracks a while back. Big, bold and beautiful, it was a belter. The rest of the release was restless with indie guitars and twitchy rhythms. A few years on and Vaudrey is back with an inspired change of direction. What happened next? By Alan O’Hare.
Singers need to be believed to be seen. Great voices – for the most part – are defined by taste, but when you hear someone singing their truth… something happens: you lean in, you listen hard and then you want to listen again. ‘Pirouettes’, the brand new single from Scouse singer/songwriter Jennifer Vaudrey, is something to believe in.
Glistening piano arpeggios introduce a vulnerable and careful whisper that draws you in immediately. “I’m just trying to be strong, trying to survive,” sings Vaudrey as a ‘Tango In The Night’-era Fleetwood Mac backing vocal refrain fades in and out throughout the song. The piano dominates, synths create waves of drama and understated percussion (is that timpani?) moves the melody along. ‘Pirouettes’ hovers rather than soars, but its precision production suggests that that’s the point.
The Liverpool girl released debut EP ‘Hide Away From Love’ in 2014 and perhaps failed to build on its momentum. The title track was a big and bold pop song, a cracker in fact, and suggested that Vaudrey was set on a path paved by the progress of the likes of First Aid Kit. But ‘Pirouettes’ is an inspired change of direction, away from the indie guitar sounds of ‘Wish I Was That Girl’ and ‘Goodbye Mister’, from that first release.
Launched with a packed gig at The Music Room inside the Phil recently (watch a cover of Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’ here), Vaudrey’s new single may well turn the future of her music on its head. “I won’t admit I miss you oh’ so much, but all that’s left is a feeling of regret,” she sings as the tune takes a turn towards Kate Bush territory. Sure, that comparison sounds lazy, but listen again to the way the backing vocals beat the percussion to the punch and chase a ‘Hounds Of Love’ feeling…
‘Pirouettes’ suggests this singer is gong to be around for a while yet.
Pic courtesy of JV