Album Review: Sumner – Sumner

Two years ago, there or there abouts Kristina Sarkisova arrived in London, via Moscow and Valencia with one suitcase and a guitar. Her intention, beyond seeing out the little money she had for a couple of months, was to give the ‘music thing’ a try. If she didn’t get a sign that it was worth her while, she would pack up her bag and go back to Spain and become a lawyer, or something.

Law can wait. On her debut, self-titled album, Sumner shows that she is able to conjure up images and emotions with her sparse, folky songs and her wispy voice. The album opens with the circumspect ‘Take a Walk’ which seems to have all the time in the world as Sarkisova implores ‘take a chance on me’. Its followed by the gentle rippling of The Coward, there’s a little of Sour Times about the track as once again Sarkisova plays on the time she makes.

As the album progresses there are similar tales of love and love lost, as Sarkisova’s vocal is this thing that can draw you in and grab you by the heartstrings at times. But those moments of strength can also be one of the drawbacks of the album, as there’s this nagging sameiness that starts to appear. Thankfully, ‘Shadow Park’, and more particularly Product stand out – more upbeat and it skips along, its melody at once entirely satisfying.

As the album draws to a close, the brilliant Cat & Mouse stands out, with just a hint of Tori Amos, before the sense of isolation returns with closer A Good Year, despite its positive intentions.

Kristina Sarkisova, aka Sumner, has made an album of earthy beauty, and poetic words. It’s not perfect, and you get the impression there’s a really great song in her waiting to get out, but until then her debut album is a good place to start. Law can wait.



Exactly two years ago today, I came back to London with one suitcase and my guitar, and enough money to survive on for a couple of months at most, to give this “music thing” a try. I told myself that if I did not get a sign that this was worth pursuing within three months, I would go back to Spain and become a lawyer – or something.

Well, I’m definitely not a lawyer. Thanks to everyone who has been a part of this incredible journey, to the universe for all of the signs it gave me and keeps on giving me, and to everyone who still supports me til this day. I feel so, so fortunate. Words can’t describe.

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