Leni Ward - Hope
Another UK female singer-songwriter making a move on an oversaturated market, Derby lass Leni Ward is, to these ears, a far more pleasant prospect than wailing Florence or kooky Marina. While her voice is not as outstanding as Natasha Khan’s, it is perhaps she who Ward is most comparable to. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, the songs (at least in terms of hooks and arrangements) aren’t quite up to Bat For Lashes quality, although a couple do stick in the mind. 'I Will Rise' is a poignant a cappella piece about escaping a destructive relationship - in fact, the whole album is inspired by the breakdown of a long-term relationship - while 'The Hunted' finds her singing “I have dreams of hunting you down like a rabid dog in a movie scene” over handclaps ‘n’ beats. Ward is a strong lyricist and moments like these show overall promise, but otherwise Hope is in danger of getting lost in the crowd.