Antler – Eleanor Dillon (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

a1941878839_16Occasionally you come across an emerging artist and some aspect of their music stops you in your tracks, makes you wonder why they haven’t been immediately snapped up by an agency or record label to be honed for greater things. Hearing Eleanor Dillon’s voice for the first time was just one of those moments. Employing some confident and dexterous guitar lines and a firm grasp of the art of song writing that any artist would kill to have in their repertoire, it is a sign of just how striking her voice is to say that all of that seems to fade into the background once the voice kicks in.

It is a voice that seems familiar (with maybe a touch of Dolores O’Riordan’s vocal cadence being an obvious touchstone) but at the same time fresh and of the moment; timeless, traditional and still contemporary yet not beholden to the pressure of current fad or fashion. I have to say it is wonderful to stumble across a young female singer who isn’t queuing up to be the next Ellie Goulding.

Leaning heavily on the seventies folk revival sound she manages to channel the purity of the likes of Sandy Denny or Carole King and in doing so goes to places that other, current acoustic artists don’t even get close to. Not for her the usual twee and obvious girl with a guitar compromises, no playing of the age card, instead a collection of strong narratives, introspective thoughts and a voice that is nothing short of extraordinary. On the strength of this first collection of songs, you don’t have to have a crystal ball to see that before long she will be joining the likes of Lisa Hannigan and Eddi Front in the lead ranks of the new female folk movement.

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