Lost to a Coastline – Ellanora DellErba (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Although Lost To A Coastline is an album echoing vintage country sounds, it is all of the additional infusions and influences that are found there also which separate it from the usual Music City output. Perhaps it is the folk influences, the pop accessibility, the echo of blues balladeers and soul divas and the ghosts of the early seventies Laurel Canyon sound that makes it stand out, more probably it is down to the sheer skill of Ellanora DellErba as a songwriter.

The result is an album that is rooted in the country genre but one that drifts around plenty of other genres too. The opener, Highway Grass, is a gorgeously understated ballad that evokes the drifter wandering along the great open highways of the American West; it is both graceful and melancholic. Even when things get a bit more upbeat, such as on Little Dreamer, the groove is cloaked in gorgeously hazy harmonics and delicate musical motifs.

The brilliant 4 Hearts and a Smiley Face is delivered almost a cappella, cloaked in only the faintest swirls of string washes and the most understated of beats, leaving her emotive and dexterous voice to remain the real selling point and the title track which rounds things off is emploring and heartfelt.

Country fans will recognise the occasional lilting groove, folkies will love the deftness and delicacy and even pop fans will love how perfectly poised these slow and sensual songs are. To be honest, I can’t think of anyone who won’t find something to love here.

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