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# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Lorna - Writing Down Things to Say

  by Anthony Middleton

published: 24 / 1 / 2009

Lorna - Writing Down Things to Say
Label: Words On Music
Format: CD


Sparsely beautiful, but also ambitious third album from Nottingham-based group, Lorna, who have similarities with both Sparklehorse and the Willard Grant Conspiracy

With pedal steel guitar, violins and crooning country style harmonies, 'Writing Down Things to Say' conjures up images of the vast plains of America. More surprise then that Lorna, based around the lush vocals of wife and husband team Sharon Cohen-Rolfe and Mark Rolfe, come from Nottingham. At times the album appears straightforward folk, particularly the opening and closing songs, 'Look Left' and 'Warm Architecture'. The first is a simple acoustic love song with nothing more extravagant than a simple guitar strum pattern and a brief harmonica solo. As with the rest of the album, the star of the show is Sharon Cohen-Rolfe’s breathy, husky singing, counter pointed by Mark Rolfe’s more pedestrian, though effective vocals. Ambition grows as the album proceeds. The second number, 'Not In My Lighthouse', is a controlled, multi-textured song that uses the pedal steel sparingly though with atmospheric effect. Probably the most accomplished song on the album is 'Think (Let Tomorrow Bee'), originally by Indie-rockers Sebadoh in 1993. While the simplicity of the original is retained, addition of Cohen-Rolfe’s fragility and swirling strings take the song in an entirely new direction. It is of course, always a dangerous game to record a favourite cover version as the rest of the album can, and here does, pale slightly. (I Wish I knew) How to Build a House' is a more complex, contemporary affair. While the sedate, relaxed and intimate demeanour remains, it is shot through with electronic pulses that drive the song forward. The addition of the steel pedal guitar sounds just as unworldly as anything created on a synthesiser. The vocals, sung in unison, see Mark Rolfe’s lower voice echoing that of his wife’s, which soars upwards. Thematically and stylistically, Lorna are be to found on the same supermarket shelves as luminaries such as Sparklehorse or Willard Grant Conspiracy. Like them, they purvey a modern, introspective take on country. Writing Things Down to Say is certainly a fusion of styles and genres, but is neither a mess or a compromise. The basic tenet that any music, must be well written and well performed, is adhered to here. It certainly isn’t taking any hostages but the sparse beauty lingers.

Track Listing:-
1 Look Left
2 Not in My Lighthouse
3 Think (Let Tomorrow Bee)
4 (I Wish I Knew) How to Build a House
5 A Place That We Can Go
6 Mostly Good Times
7 Monsters Are Forever
8 East of the Stars
9 Warm Architecture

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Interview (2013)
Lorna - Interview
Ben Howarth chats to Mark Rolfe, the front man with underrated Nottingham-based band Lorna about his band's unusual combination of influences and their recent fourth album, 'Heart on Wire'
Interview (2005)

live reviews

(With the Amber Heard). Bodega, Nottingham, 17/7/2015
Lorna - (With the Amber Heard). Bodega, Nottingham, 17/7/2015
Dave Goodwin enjoys a superb night at the Bodega in `Nottingham with two local acts, Lorna and the Amber Herd

digital downloads




Like John Candy (2015)
First-rate download only Christmas single from Nottingham rising indie talents, Lorna
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Heart of Wire (2013)
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