Raw Space

Beatie Wolfe

Raw Space, 2018

http://www.beatiewolfe.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/11/2018

Born and raised in London, Beatie Wolfe's first step into music was her rendition of Leonard Cohen's “Thousand Kisses Deep” following her dissertation on the Canadian legend himself. Soon after that, her career took off with plenty of festival spots, before a debut EP in 2010 and a pair of well received albums a few years later. Raw Space, Wolfe's third LP was recorded in the quietest room in the world (Bell Labs' Anechoic Chamber) and involved a seven day stream where a turntable played the album continually with animation that illuminated the artwork and lyrics with a 360 degree video of the chamber.nbtc__dv_250

While there's no doubt that the technological aspects of the Wolfe's work are groundbreaking, thankfully the music holds its own, too. Wolfe's first single off the album, “Little Moth,” starts off the affair with a calm acoustic guitar and her breathy vocals against an orchestral backdrop that provides a slightly haunting tone to a stirring tune. Written as a tribute to Elliott Smith, the song mirrors Smith's intimate song craft well. This expands into the singer/songwriter and articulate “The Man Who” and “Pure Being,” which leads with low bass before a more playful, bluesy tune amid louder, more rugged waters of rock. Side A finishes on the darker “Gimme Some Love,” which illustrates another dimension to Wolfe's talent.

Side B starts with the upbeat and sweet “Oh Darling” before the vocal stylistic changes of “Broken Bird,” which is a more modern take on indie-pop. “As You” is a sparse acoustic and warm maudlin moment, allowing Wolfe's sturdy, expressive vocals to shine, and the album exits on the piano ballad “How Can I,” where mysterious orchestral moments and building chamber pop make this one of the strongest tunes on the album.

On this poetic and lovely display of melody and personal wordplay, Wolfe certainly is indebted to names like the aforementioned Cohen or Smith, but she also cites Tom Waits, Stevie Wonder and Brian Wilson as influences. While the technologically inclined folks will certainly appreciate her cutting edge ideas of bringing us music, her timeless songwriting and folky, Americana chamber-pop is the real draw here.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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