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Amelia Curran - They Promised You Mercy (Review)

Amelia Curran, They Promised You Mercy

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

HALIFAX singer-songwriter Amelia Curran follows up her 2009 Juno Award-winning LP and 2013’s Spectators with They Promised You Mercy, another endearing showcase of her talent.

A collection of 11 songs that flit effortlessly between folk and pop, this also displays Curran’s way with lyrics and boasts a warm glow throughout.

Opening track Somebody Somewhere sets the standard early on, emerging from the outset with winning melodies, sing-along ‘na na na na’ harmonies and toe-tapping beats. Even so, there’s a bittersweet element to the lyrics, which include lines such as “I shattered the arrow inside of my heart, 10,000 pieces broken apart” and “somebody somewhere is missing you now, they promised you mercy and they’ll find it somehow”.

Not every song is quite as breezy, however. There’s a melancholy undertow attached to the acoustic-backed Coming For You, which nonetheless holds you enthralled as it weaves its tale and drops another strong chorus.

The album feels at its strongest, however, when keeping the tempo raised, where it sidesteps a lot of easy comparisons with similar folk balladeers.

Hence, I Am The Night is another highlight, complete with nice lyrics such as “I am the gravity that holds you down” and “I am the ceiling on your lifelong dream”, and Never Say Goodbye, which examines the sadness that often accompanies that word. The guitars here are more robust, lending it a proper folk-rock edge.

Further highlights come from Song On The Radio, which includes some nice banjo licks and a lovely central vocal (it’s the kind of song that Tom Petty would be proud to own), and Strike The Band, which also has a nicely dusky, bittersweet vibe.

Indeed, such songs go some way to compensating for the odd weaker track, such as The Matador, which sounds a little too generic as ballads of this nature go.

But criticisms aside, They Promised You Mercy still marks a strong return from this very appealing songstress.

Download picks: Somebody Somewhere, I Am The Night, Song On The Radio, Strike The Band

Track listing:

  1. Somebody Somewhere
  2. Coming for You
  3. I Am the Night
  4. Never Say Goodbye
  5. Time, Time
  6. Song On the Radio
  7. The Reverie
  8. The Matador
  9. Fables & Troubles
  10. Strike the Band
  11. You’ve Changed