Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Alt-Country / Americana / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: Pauline Andrès – Fearless Heart

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This is album number three for the French songwriter who, much like her music has to date, has had a slow-burning rise to prominence. She’s still relatively unknown but on this album she’s found the best balance to date between gothic rock ’n’ roll and a smoky country noir sound.

Fearless Heart finds her ensconced in Nashville for the first time and dialling into its rich seam of country music. Though the ghosts of both the living (Lucinda Williams) and the dead (Patsy Cline) inhabit her songs, she’s also been wise to not abandon her love for the dark shadowy sound of songwriters such as Leonard Cohen, Mark Lanegan and Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star. It makes for a dreamy, lilting and seductive set of songs, definitely one of those albums that needs the right atmosphere to ensure maximum musical and emotional impact. Warm summer nights, with a favourite drink in hand or a lazy autumnal Sunday morning. Those melancholic moments where the sad songs seep in and carry you away.

Across 11 songs, Andrès often sings of finding one’s place in the world, geographically and emotionally. The tone is generally simmering, swaying between coy detachment and sultry allure. The low-key nature of Fearless Heart means it takes a while for the songs to sink in, and though some do drift a little too aimlessly, most reward the listeners patience with subtle charm and beguiling melodic hooks.

CHRIS FAMILTON

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