Helen Boulding - Calling All Angels
I first ran into Sheffield singer-songwriter Helen Boulding in a disused public toilet in Shepherd’s Bush. Fortunately, that toilet had been converted into noted hotbed of singer-songwrtier talent, Ginglik – their alumni including the likes of Nerina Pallot, Rumer and The Stories. A few months later, she released a terrific debut New Red Dress to little fanfare and promptly disappeared.
She’s retreated away mostly from the big choruses and production that characterised her first album, to her detriment. Falling into the kind of semi-acoustic territory inhabited by Katie Melua, Calling All Angels is a mellow, pleasant listen. While the first single, 'The Innocents', has a poppy, almost 80s charm and the sweeping, melancholic 'Something To Believe In' verges on the epic, much of the album just isn’t distinctive enough to raise it above the already crowded singer-songwriter pack.