I was pleasantly surprised when a jiffy bag arrived unexpectedly at my home just after Christmas, containing the latest pre-release CD single from the remarkably talented singer/song-writer Amy Goddard. I recently reviewed her debut album Burn & Glow; along with a few words about her beautiful previous single “Gladdie”. (See my review #79). Both “Gladdie” and these two new songs are taken from her forthcoming second album Secret Garden, which is to be released in April this year.
In the mean time, the two songs on this new double A-side single are very good indeed. Although they are both very different, they are both typically ‘Amy’ in song-writing style and performance. But that is not to say that they are a mere rehash of her earlier work. Far from it; as both – although somehow sounding comfortably familiar – are still proving that Amy has fresh musical and lyrical ideas to offer.
“Near The Sea” was mostly written on the North Cornish coast – a favourite place of Amy’s. It is a finely crafted song, with superb acoustic guitar; and a beautiful lyric about the calming effect of the sea, which ‘…helps put my worries into perspective’, she says. Although it won’t bring you to tears like “Gladdie”, it is nonetheless a very lovely song. And it is enhanced by excellent, sympathetic violin, thanks to Amy’s former school teacher, Naomi Hitchings (who also played so well on “Gladdie”).
“Alright Again” is an optimistic and chirpy number about how much better things look after a good night’s sleep! I could do with one of those now and again; so I can sympathise! In this song, her worries (represented by the ‘Black Dog’ / ‘The Beast’), are banished by the coming of morning light – and hence the title. The Telecaster and bass guitar are played very well by Jonathan Lewis, who apparently plays on some other tracks on the new album; and will join Amy for her album launch gigs in April (see her website for details).
If these two songs (and “Gladdie”) are typical of the quality of the new album, then Amy’s fans are in for a treat indeed; and I look forward to hearing and reviewing it as soon as possible. It is already available for pre-order through Amy’s website….