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nancy elizabeth - Battle And Victory
Hot on the heels of a couple of limited 7" singles, Wigan's Nancy Elizabeth delivers her debut LP, Battle & Victory. Underpinned by Celtic harp, dulcimer and acoustic guitar, the thirteen songs on the album are very much steeped in the singer-songwriter tradition, evoking Nina Nastasia, Laura Veirs and, of course, Joanna Newsom at her best. There are moments inside Elizabeth's debut which sparkle, the close, pure three-part harmony of "The Remote Past", or the bare-bones emotion of album-closer "Battle & Victory" being notable highlights. Essentially though, its Elizabeth's voice which acts as anchor for each of Battle & Victory's thirteen cuts. At 23, Elizabeth's vocal delivery is engaging both for it's emotional restraint and for the soft Lancashire accent which permeates her winding narratives. It's an album that doesn't ever feel overblown, arrangements are kept simple and taut, allowing the voice to communicate the always involving narrative. And if you really want to amuse yourself, give "Coriander' a listen - surely one of the most bizarre love songs ever written. Lovely stuff - Recommended.