I have no idea how long I have been in contact with Steve Mann at Backwater Records, but it has been quite a few years, and one thing that delights me is that he continuously strives to find great singers and give them an opportunity to shine, never trying to mould them into something they are not but letting them have their own voice. I was hugely impressed with Belinda’s last EP, “Last’, and now she is back with the next. I realised when looking at the press release that this was released in March, but it is in my June playlist and now here we are in October so I thought I would run a quick google search to see what others have been saying about it, but ‘Belinda Gillett Homing Review’ produced exactly zero relevant results, but surely that cannot be right? The algorithms must be flawed as there is no way that this lovely collection of five songs (total length 19 minutes) should be ignored.
It is the vocals which are always front and centre, sometimes with acoustic guitar or keyboards for accompaniment, but always it is that voice which is strong and direct. Joan Baez, Sandy Denny, Elfin Bow, all these influences can be heard, and the use of birdsong at the introduction to “The Sun” is absolutely perfect as she is so at one with the world, never forcing her way in but allowing her vocals to drift into the brain and stay there. The production is both lush and simple, allowing Belinda to always shine, yet ensuring there is strength and support when required and tailing away when she is more forthright. Strings are brought in only when the song demands it, so the listener is always on a journey of discovery with an amazing singer. Alt-folk, singer-songwriter, it does not really matter how one describes the genre when all one needs to understand is that this is beautiful music. I guess there really is one question now, when do we get a full album? Please?