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Helene Greenwood - Collectable You (Review)

Helene Greenwood, Collectable You

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

INSPIRED by Ella Fitzgerald and her studies in jazz singing as well as more contemporary songstresses such as Björk and Feist, Helene Greenwood sought to “capture the moments in between places” as she composed the songs that make up her debut album, Collectable You.

And while that description may sound a little baffling, there are plenty of reasons to discover more when listening to the LP.

With her beautiful vocals occupying centre-stage, the LP also delivers several memorable moments that either have a bright pop breeziness, an accomplished jazz vibe and even some folk elements.

Things start brightly with opening track Break In Break Out, which combines some wonderful orchestral arrangements with a bright piano sound and a big, brash chorus that explodes to life at several points. It’s inspiring.

After The Fire, on the other hand, strips things back to a melancholy, wintery piano and an ethereal vocal (where the Bjork influence creeps in). But it’s an arresting contrast to the fuller bodied opening song and immediate evidence that the album is going to offer some diversity.

Further highlights arrive in the form of Great Fountain, which slow-builds into something quite epic and powerful, the sweet Timeline And The Shore (which has an almost fantastical quality about its composition), the romantic Fools Rush In (which finds Greenwood really channelling Fitzgerald), and the breezy Spindrift Road, which even has a salsa vibe underpinning it.

At times pure and soulful, at others gently breaking with an endearing fragility, Greenwood’s is a voice that’s evocative of her direct influences along with the likes of Regina Spektor and Imogen Heap.

And yet musically the band creates a canvas of contemporary, alternative pop with shades of folk and jazz for Helene to paint her words and melodies onto, at once traditional and modern.

Collectable You offers up a consistently intriguing listen that is, by turns, beautiful, warm and always enjoyable.


Download picks: Break In Break Out, Spindrift Road, Fools Rush In, Great Fountain, Timeline And The Shore

Track listing:

  1. Break In Break Out
  2. After The Fire
  3. So Many Balloons
  4. Great Fountain
  5. Timeline And The Shore
  6. Fools Rush In
  7. Spindrift Road
  8. In The Sunshine
  9. Focussed
  10. Get On Board
  11. Utopia