Elaine Palmer hails from an isolated village up on the North Yorkshire Moors but travels back and forward to her family in Phoenix Arizona. Growing up in an old Watermill in the wilds of Yorkshire, Elaine surrounded herself by music, writing songs influenced by her surroundings both in Yorkshire and Arizona. Her album The Land Between has a very Yorkshire feel to it.
First track and previous single ‘Go’ is where we get to hear her voice in its haunting dark timbre. The quality of the production is something to impress the drum work in particular sounding crisp. As an introduction ‘Go’ is a perfect Elaine track with the cello sitting in the background and the wonderful half picked half strummed guitars she uses to great effect.
Slightly more upbeat tracks like single ‘Just One’ is a sweet upbeat track with guitar taking the forefront. Palmer’s expressive voice goes from the darker tones to lung filled gorgeousness as it soars. With ‘Oh My Oh My’ you can hear her country influences come out. Sounding like a 50s doo-wop it has a timeless feel to it with pedal steel and gentler drumming.
The use of strings, in particular the cello, really entrance especially on track ‘The Mill House’ as Palmer’s voice transports you to the Mill House as she sings, “sitting by an old tree”. The same on ‘Once A Mother’, where her voice sings a sweet lullaby over cello and guitar eventually joined by drums. It’s also a track where we sense how the personal lyrics and the meaning of family is so important to her.
‘Let There Be’ with a voice like Palmer’s, a single instrument accompaniment is all you need. This time we have a piano with simple chords as Palmer croons on top. The track blooms into an endless chorus that is so full of joy, like flinging the curtains open on a bright spring morning. ‘Heading Back West’ with its strummed acoustic and a general Americana feel especially with the twang in the guitar solo.
‘Laughter Lines’ has a feel of her older work. A beautiful song with picked guitar backing up her haunting vocals once again. It’s quite a shock to be reminded of reality when the song abruptly stops. But thats ok as we still have the final track to go. ‘Your Rising Sun’ is perhaps the most beautiful track on the album. Rising piano and cello draws a wonderfully uplifting song that just grows and grows with a gorgeous interlude.
The album feels full of space as if it’s recorded in a huge hall and mostly live. Every note, every instrument, every voice is required, with nothing extra or over the top added. There’s a good variation to the tracks but the overall feel of simple and beautiful written songs with impeccable production and spot on performances makes this album a must. The Land Between is with out doubt Palmer’s finest work. The album she was always meant to write.
Have a listen to the albums opener Go, below:
Pre order the album here