Rachel Austin‘s E.P. ‘Age of Love’ truly is a thing of beauty. The three track opens with ‘Babydoll’. Think, smoky laid back jazz club and you’re on the right side of town. Simple brushed drums and understated guitar accompany Austin’s vocals until a delightful brass arrangement is added to the mix. Maybe it’s Austin’s Virginia, USA, upbringing that instilled some sort of magic potion in her. She has managed to here to conjure a timeless piece of music.
‘Close’ sees Austin still retain a slight jazz feel but has almost grunged it up, making it dark and dirty, in a good way. Hammond organ, tremelo-ed guitar and ghostly backing vocals add to the feel, making this sound like something from the underworld. There’s clever production, check out how the double bass is mixed. The track builds up beautifully, using Austin’s vocals for the rise and fall of the track. I like this a lot.
The E.P. ends with ‘Grace Kills’, given the contrast between this and ‘Close’, it immediately makes you take notice. Austin and her production team have excelled. The track seems understated and spacious but it never lacks anything and the space beautiful lets everything breathe. The double bass is draws you in while the drums somehow give you the spacious feeling while a simple guitar ties everything together. It also gives Austin’s voice the opportunity to shine. Just when you think the track should be over, an army drum heralds a choir singing the 1932 song by Albert E Bromley. Wow! I defy you not to tingles down your spine, beautifully incorporated and emotionally charged.
I don’t know why I haven’t heard of Rachel Austin before. Really good vocals and lyrics and the production on these tracks by Declan Legge, is out of this world. Take notice now! Rachel Austin is a genuinely talented artist who deserves recognition.