Beautiful Words is the latest release from Tauranga-based musician Amanda Sloan, who goes under the name Celeste Music. This five-track EP is under 13 minutes long, and for the most part is based around the vocals of Amanda, accompanying herself on picked acoustic guitar, with additional instrumentation such as keyboards laid over the top. She has a singular singing style, and this combined with her songwriting means that musically she has more in common with the indie scene than one would expect from someone performing in a fashion normally associated with singer/songwriter or folk.

This is definitely music which is out of left field as opposed to mainstream and therefore will have a more limited appeal than one would imagine of a musician with an acoustic. I listen to far more music than is either normal or sensible for any single individual, writing more than a quarter of a million words on the subject each year, and after well over 30 years I hate to think what my current total is, but I have had real difficulties getting to grips with this. My issue is that I have not been able to get inside Amanda’s mindset, and with that being the case I cannot fully say if she has achieved what she set out to do, as this is not something I have enjoyed playing. It is quite possible that the issue lies more with me than Amanda, but there is no doubt that this is a release which takes work and even then, will only appeal to a few. This is available on Spotify and all normal platforms so why not give it a try and see what you think?

Rating: 4/10