Bella Hardy - Songs Lost And Stolen
Although deftly executed via a clear soprano and meticulous, minimal backing, Hardy's third album doesn't fully convince. Songs Lost And Stolen is the first in which she's taken her eye off the folk canon and swapped her usual interpretation of the work of others for a full blown self-penned set. Shame to report then that, for all its commitment and unfussy arrangements, it's the songs that let the enterprise down. There's no denying the craft; the likes of 'Walk It With You' and 'Full Moon Over Amsterdam' add poetry and charm to a spirit as steely as it is romantic. But this is a demanding album and as such, the listener might well find themselves wishing for a tad more payback in the form of, say, a killer melody or a bit of tonal contrast. Hardy remains intriguing, no doubt about that, and I suspect there's better to come. Worth keeping an eye on, at least.