Music Reviews

Vanessa Lowe

Barnacles Of Joy

The Mighty Prawn / Jicama Salad Co.

It’s no secret that there’s more than enough mediocre-to-shit singer/songwriters as it is, but what’s truly impressive is how much amazing talents there are out there as well, playing small clubs for the sheer joy of it, never giving up despite the odds against making it big or even being noticed by more than some small inner circle of friends.

Vanessa Lowe is not only one of the single most talented folksy singer/songwriters I’ve had the pleasure of hearing lately, she’s also one of the luckiest – it seems radio is already starting to pick up on her new album, and god knows she deserves it. Barnacles Of Joy is, bar only a few slight missteps, a surprisingly crafted album full of eerie and uneasy but confident songs.

Lowe operates on the fringes of folk pop, with both her lyrics and her arrangements challenging the more traditional aspects of her songs – not that she’s your regular, run-of-the-mill songwriter in the first place. And while the use of djembe, tabla and other percussion are beautifully incorporated, Lowe’s songs always stand apart on their own, even when they’re sparsely arranged using just Lowe’s guitar and her voice.

On Barnacles Of Joy, Lowe proves herself to be an exploring and curious songwriter, continually redefining her own sounds and songs, always refusing to stand still. This is an admirably successful and pleasing album from a truly developed songwriter and performer.

Jicama Salad Co.:

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