Rise, Talitha - An Abandoned Orchid House,
What we have here is the debut album from Sussex-based singer-songwriter Talitha Rise. She provides vocals, guitars, keyboards and more, which were complimented by collaborator Martyn Barker (Shriekback, Robert Plant, Marianne Faithful, Billy Bragg) with both his drumming and multi-instrumental skills. The album also includes guest appearances, including Juldeh Camara (Robert Plant/Justin Adams/Real World - Gambian Riti), Peter Yates (Fields of the Nephilim - guitars) Arnulf Linder (KT Tunstall, Ed Harcourt - cello) and Rory McFarlane (Katie Melua - bass). Award winning songwriter Kathryn Williams provided most of the lyrics for "Valley" while songwriter Nick Webb (vocals, keys) collaborated on "Bloodfox".
What captures the listener from the first note to the very last are the wonderful vocals, which are always front and centre, with some reverb to add a little depth and emotion. The music is ethereal, a beauty that at times appears to be at risk of melting away altogether if the listener concentrates too hard on what is going on. Reminiscent at times of Talis Kimberley, at others of Suzanne Vega, Rise has a very pure sounding voice, one that has not been tarnished by modern pop music. Here we have a proper musician, singing wonderfully poignant songs, in a way that will affect anyone lucky enough to hear the album. It really is a thing of beauty, with depths that need discovery and close attention. It is the sort of album that one puts on the player and the world just drifts away, as if what is happening in reality actually does not matter anymore.
The arrangements are such so that there is enough going on to pique the listener and want them to spend time unravelling it all, but always at the top of the mix is that wonderful voice, intimate and personal, as if Talitha and the listener are the only people in the world. This is quite some album.