Amelia Curran - Spectators

The rather matter-of-fact outpouring of the thoughtful, often devastatingly brutal observations that saturate Amelia Curran's Spectators would catch most listeners unaware and unguarded if they weren't delivered, as one critic put it, "like a bartender presents a shot." Curran's third album, produced by John Critchley, isn't so much a major step forward (her last, the more folk-oriented Hunter Hunter was just too good to make that leap) as it is a step sideways, down a path of fleshed out instrumentation and glint of a razor sharp edge. Brass, percussion, piano and strings crouch in the hidden shadows behind Curran's stark vocals and guitar, adding both immediacy and drama to her tales of what's been described as "both storm and harbour". Tracks like the superb "Years" -- easily one of the best songs we're heard in 2012 -- speak softly but carry a big emotional wallop, inviting the listener in to share in the brilliantly poetic wordplay even as you feel like you're witnessing the shock of a bloody surgical operation (of the heart, naturally). Released last month in Canada, look for Spectators to cross the border in early 2013. Watch videos below...

Amelia Curran - "Years" (from the album Spectators)

Amelia Curran - "Black Bird On Fire" (from the album Spectators)