Hurry Back – Kiera Lyons (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

If Kiera Lyons music has taught us anything it is that it is possible to make pop music which is musically elegant, sonically eloquent and a big step above the usual chart fodder we see vying for the pop-dollar. Aflame was the perfect demonstration of exactly that and Hurry Back just seems to underline the potential of such a musical outlook. Instead of the usual cheap and catchy concepts, style over substance pose and obvious gimmicks, Hurry Back creates a real allure through controlled understatements, vocal delivery which really belie Lyons’ youthfulness and finally explosive, emotive and occasionally epic sonic moves.

Hurry Back paves the way for her new e.p. Hiraeth, a Welsh word for “homesickness or nostalgia, an earnest longing or desire, or a sense of regret … the feeling of longing for a home that never was,” and it is to such hauntological and nostalgic themes that she looks for inspiration. The song is a lament on the subjects of loss and longing, of that feeling that something important has disappeared from your life as time has passed. And whether consciously or not, the song is the perfect place where such thoughts expressed music gently wash up on the shores of Jacques Derrida’s writings about cultural memory. But I may be over-stressing the point somewhat.

All most people need Hurry Back to be is a cool and interesting take on pop music and it is certainly that, capturing the essence of classical music whilst using contemporary sounds and samples to replicate a more mainstream take on it. It drifts rather than drives, it is graceful rather than groovesome, it is poised and gossamer light, built of the slightest textures and the deftest of sonic touches. And even when it decides to up its sonic game, to really make its presence felt, it does so merely by adding more and more slender strands and layers of delicate sound rather than resulting to anything as unimaginative as just turning up the volume.

Hiraeth comes with two additional songs, the more folk infused It Goes and the chilled indie ballad The Oaks, both more than worthy songs but for me Hurry Back is the crowning sonic moment of the three. (Though it is all relative and any young wannabe with any sense would kill to be given any of these chilled slices of pop poise…provided their record company’s marketing department’s had run the numbers first and said it was okay.)

Whilst the competition is looking for the next sing-along sensation, dance routine driven automaton or repugnant rapper, Kiera Lyons is truly marking out some unique territory for herself and her music feels pure, untainted by the industry, honest and emotive in a way that we haven’t felt in the mainstream for far too long.

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