Heather Coulton - All The Years (Self-Release)

Posted by vibrations on 24-10-15

These are proper songs. That’s the best way of putting it. Coulton’s piano-led style and occasionally warbly vocals are sort of old fashioned but it’s difficult to place in a particular decade. Comparisons to Joni Mitchell are indeed valid, especially throughout the opening strains of ‘Run’ (ostensibly recorded live but you wouldn’t know it).

'Cracks' has a sort of Northern-inflected stripped-down Broadway vibe to it. In fact, most of the tracks on the album have a touch of theatre to them stemming from dynamic shifts and Coulton's frequent trips into powerful vibrato-heavy soars. As someone who's been in the band pit for his fair share of shows, I'd say you could easily slip any of these seven numbers into a musical like Rent as an emotional mid-tempo number. For me, title track 'All The Years' is the defining song on the album. It makes the most of the sparing instrumentation, opening with some particularly delicious piano chords and featuring some deft bass-work throughout.

If you’re looking for a break from the cut-and-paste-HOOK-HOOK-HOOK-attention-span-destroying homogeneity of the charts (gosh, that came out far more vindictive than I’d intended) and are finding your filthy Electronica lacking in emotional depth then can I suggest All The Years as the album to break you out of your funk? Heather Coulton's soulful debut has a gentle, contemplative honesty to it. Not an album of surprises but one that has been carefully crafted nonetheless.

Tim Hearson


On the Vibrations stereo...