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Lisa Knapp - Hidden Seam

  by Paul Waller

published: 17 / 9 / 2013

Lisa Knapp - Hidden Seam
Label: Navigator Records
Format: CD


Sparse and delicate yet highly promising debut album from London-based folk artist, Lisa Knapp

London folkie Lisa Knapp is a new name to me but one I have grown very fond of over the past couple of weeks that I have spent with her debut album 'Hidden Seam'. Her voice is so very gentile and delicate that you feel she may snap at any minute. It is similar in tone and flavour as Sinead O'Connor’s vocals but not as mature and weighty. This is not meant as a slight but it is quite obvious as to why the instrumentation on this record is almost exquisitely minimal in places. The music itself at no point becomes the sole focus. The drama within the songs is found at the end of a touching melody or a slight pause or sigh from Lisa before continuing with a line. It truly is a Sunday morning record. The album centres around 'Hunt the Hare (Pt 1)' and 'Hunt the Hare (Pt 2)'. This duo of tracks contain a male vocal take (delivered understatedly by Alasdair Roberts) that contributes simple counter melodies against Knapp's own, adding yet another level to the album. And it's the chorus from 'Pt 1' that is truly the album's stand out moment. It's rare that such beauty is put to music but here the harp backs up such an astonishing melody that it's difficult to see where any improvement could be made. If the rest of the album was of this quality you would be listening to the album of the year, hands down. I am not saying the rest of the album is a dud; in fact the only weak moment on here is the up-tempo 'Seagiver' due to the fact that the beauty in her voice is overpowered by the thundering drums. This is something that an artist like Kate Bush can handle with ease during songs such as 'Hounds of Love' but Lisa Knapp, whilst doing enough to impress has not quite reached that level of grandeur yet.

Track Listing:-
1 Shipping Song
2 Hidden Seam
3 Ruler of the Rest
4 Black Horse
5 Seagiver
6 Two Ravens
7 Hunt the Hare (Pt I)
8 Hunt the Hare (Pt II)
9 Hushabye

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