Lou Richards is a folk singer from the UK who recently released Good Woman. Her music has been compared to artists like Joni Mitchell and Vashti Bunyan. That’s a good starting point. Her music is robust with melancholy but also very beautiful. Richards also mentions Bonnie Prince Billy and Joanna Newsom and I feel like her music fits very well into that strain of music,
There is a sort of stillness this music creates. It feels a bit like the feeling you might get after having successfully meditated. Warm, content and peaceful.
The instrumentation is soft and delicate. In fact everything feels rather delicate. You can hear this on the opener “Glastonbury Tor.” The guitars are gentle and the picking pattern itself sounds melodic and hypnotic. Richards’ voice fits perfectly with the music. Although the music is melancholy in the end it subtly makes you feel a sense of hope and solace.
Up next is the title track “Good Woman” which is another track that pours out emotion. The instrumentation is borderline ambient. It’s lush and blooms like a flower. Richards’ vocals are just as delicate as on the first track and feel a bit like a hymn at times.
“Only Human” is just gorgeous. The music reminded me a bit of Joanna Newsom on this track. There was this mystical and fantasy based feel that I heard but is hard to pinpoint. I’m pretty sure I heard a harp in there. The orchestral strings are really well done and meld perfectly with the guitars.
“Weary as a Dog” is next another track that has my attention. The fantastic guitar work, whispered vocals and other elements tug at your emotions. It’s hard to pick out a highlight amongst so many great songs but I felt “Begin Again” was probably the catchiest song. The melodies from the instrumentation as well as the vocals were memorable the first time I heard them. She sings, “And how I sing, I sing just to begin again.” The album ends with “My Lady.” I think the last minute or so of this song is pure magic.
A lot of credit needs to go to the production team. These recordings are captured by people who really knew what they were doing in the studio. The right reverbs were used, the right amount of compression and so forth to really give these songs the aesthetics they needed.
Good Woman is one of the most gorgeous albums I have heard in recent memory. Highly recommended.
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