(Bright Star Records)
She’s young, she’s fresh, she is full of ideas and Nina Schofield has put together her first full album so that she can take on the world and stake her place in the sphere of music and composition. Not even a lunch and chat about the Biz with the battlescarred wreck that is your scribe can dent her springheeled demeanour. But more of that in a future piece, let’s spin the disc…
Originally from the South of England but currently based in more northerly Surrey, Schofield uses the keyboard to compose and is already brimming with ideas. A fair chunk of the lyrical content of the record is – as one would expect – based around good and bad romantic experiences of if not actual experiences, notions. Yes, we males really are no good at all. Hollie Stephenson made this very clear on her recent release, plus to be fair Lucinda Williams did, too though in her case the songs are doused in the corrosive guitar smoke she sprayed from the stage up at Cornbury….
Already her voice is pretty much her own, viz, Nina is not aping successful contemporaries like Ellie Goulding, Sia or Taylor ‘Woman Scorned’ Swift (and hey Calvin, if you ever read my Tay single review of last year you KNEW what was coming ! you can search it out on this site) which is a plus. I detect an All Saints tinge on some selections and it transpires their records were indeed an early influence on la Schofield.
100 has a ping pong delay effect, stabbing piano and a throaty voice whereas A Different Beat is again piano-based, but altogether more intimate in delivery
Come Down makes use of a neat keyboard intro and trippy beat, with handclaps ; ‘No money to speak of ‘ is a line from Cash and the clipped guitar part is a good feature. Restart strikes me as very much night music, going for a big sound and end-of-affair lyrics. Reminds me a tad of Katy B.
Imaginary Love is a single and uses wah’d keys..yes, this is the one that sounds All Saints-inspired to me. Now I thought that Lost All Feeling might have been about reaching the end of a Phil Collins album at a dinner party but no, it’s a decent number, certainly my favourite here as regards melody AND thankfully not too much note-twisting ! Fading Photograph finds Nina at her most reflective, recalling a nightmare? Lovely strings, too. Like A Fire is altogether more stealthy with its reggae leaning and echo of Grace Jones
One Thing is….well, it’s impossibly romantic. The eagerness to make love work would surely move my heart if it wasn’t granite. HIH (Head In Hands) has a reggae touch but not the classic instrumentation for it. By far the most relaxed vocal with a fine ascending bridge. It cries out for real horns
The production by Jo Pereira keeps the sound contemporary..which means for me there are too many synth elements. But this doesn’t take away from a set that showcases a really pleasant voice, good range of styles and an understated passion driving this music. A bright future, one has to hope.
You can watch the offiical video of Nina Schofield’s ‘Imaginary Love’ here:
* Thanks Nina, thanks Sam
Nina Schofield’s new album Shapes is out now on Bright Star Records. For more information visit here official website here: http://bit.ly/29PdWI5