LUCIE THORNE ‘Bonfires in Silver City’

Reviewed by Marlo Spikin

  “And lean a little closer
To all those songs I play
Yeah I’ll keep singing ‘til the sun comes up
However far away”

So Lucie Thorne croons on the song ‘Big News’ from her sixth and latest independent release, ‘Bonfires in Silver City’. The astonishing reward for her listeners is that this one song is just one glimmering flame within an exquisite bonfire.  The ten songs, including one duet and one instrumental guitar track, are irresistibly cohesive and flow into each other beautifully.  And we lean close to her bonfire until the sun comes up.

Leaning closer to Lucie’s sublime voice…  a voice that has a melting power – breathy, luscious, languid like honey and as striking as the sunrise.  Coupled with her distinct guitar playing, Lucie paints delicately her tales of love and life.  The opening track is ‘Falling’, a love song as only Lucie could express it.  A lullaby that makes falling, oh so quietly, with her, very easy:

“It’s sure some kind of spell
I’m under
Here I am, falling, all over again
It’s your name I’ve been calling”

And so from these first flames, ‘Bonfires In Silver City’ casts a spell.  The album is one unified gesture of grace and awareness.  The great groove of track two, ‘Till The Season’, paints her awareness to gorgeous encouraging effect: “If it’s growing it won’t ripen ‘til its season’s here”.  And the album grows and flows inspiringly all the way to the graceful closing-album declaration “You know you’ll always be with me” in ‘When I Get There’.

Lucie’s emotive guitar playing is the strong spine that her tender, self-aware lyrics breathe from.  Her two minute long solo guitar track, ‘Correspondent’, rests in the middle of the album, and perfectly as a bridge between two melancholy songs.  ‘Great Wave’, a mature reprise from its original release on 2006’s ‘Where Night Birds Call’, begins quietly with not one too many notes being struck as she tells us:

“The colours bleed out from the hills
The hills turn black across the field
It’s a great wave that’s coming down”

Her guitars rise and heighten this chorus refrain as the song grows and then fades.  And then we are soothed by the gentleness of ‘Correspondent’.  The following ‘Already Gone’ is a break-up song, “I stand here watching the sky turn black” and here we feel one of Lucie’s strongest song-writing traits: her emotions are expressed courageously and unadorned.

The kindred spirit of Lucie’s delicate and definite song craft is renowned drummer and percussionist Hamish Stuart.  His energy is compelling throughout, and it is their mutual respect that enables his beats and flourishes to brilliantly fan her flames without ever threatening to engulf them.  Lucie is also accompanied very finely by a handful of stellar musicians – Dave Symes’ electric bass and Carl Dewhurst’s guitar on a few tracks honour Lucie’s style, while Chris Abrahams’ piano on ‘Noir’ helps this song to feel revelatory.  Simplistically, ‘Noir’ could be described as “another break-up song” but Chris’ sensitive keys bring colour to Lucie’s integrity.  Another truly rewarding collaboration is ‘Sweet Turnaround’, co-written with the soulful Jo Jo Smith.  The essence is again encouraging, honest and wise:

 “Let it burn so bright that you can’t deny
Let the lightning strike at your wondering whys
Come on let it take you
By surprise”

Let Lucie take you to her exquisite bonfire, and lean close until the sun comes up.  And, keep listening into the clear day too.

Thursday 29 September
Bella Union at Trades Hall, Melbourne
plus special guest Jo Jo Smith
Tickets: $17/$12 + bf presale, $20/$15 at the door
on sale now!


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