The only word to describe The Band Called Out for More, the latest album from Gabby Young & Other Animals is glorious. Actually there are plenty of other words just as apt, bewitching and scintillating two examples, all emotive descriptions which are deserved by the release and its creators. From the beautiful sleeve, which I am still failing to put back together the right way after numerous hours of trying…damn you Ms Young, the album tantalises and seduces from start to finish. Consisting of thirteen songs which merge the instinctive essentials of gypsy folk, pop, rock, jazz, and cabaret, The Band Called Out For More is a mesmeric melodic burlesque, a carnival of imagination which burns brightly and incessantly like a heaven bred temptress.
Gabby Young’s musical journey to this place in time saw her as the youngest ever recruit to the National Youth Choir at the age of 12. The Wiltshire girl then with her intent of becoming an opera singer in tow was sent off course by the discovery of Jeff Buckley and the jazz greats who began to inspire her thoughts, passions, and ultimately a change of direction. Making strong impressions at open mic nights and playing with an array of bands next filled her journey which had seen her relocate to London whose music scene she soon embraced. At the age of 22, thyroid cancer threatened to take her classically trained voice and it was at this point that she ‘took her songwriting seriously’ and started pulling her experiences into her songs and their creation. In 2008 the lady with drummer/guitarist Stephen Ellis formed her eight piece band and using crowd-funding recorded her debut album two years later, an acclaimed and excitedly received release. Followed by numerous gigs and festival appearances including Glastonbury her stature was cemented in the passions of a growing legion of fans. Playing around the world since has only elevated her strengths and presence which The Band Called Out for More with its compelling dance of Circus Swing and Burlesque Folk, has and will accelerate to even greater levels.
If one song on an album alone can make you immediately decide about a release it is In Your Head which instantly has the passions in a waltz with its vibrant and sensational sound. Opening with a tease of drums and rich vocal harmonies skirted by a blaze of brass, the song takes a mere second to lead senses by the hand into a sultry stomp of swing and folk pop to which full involvement is the only outcome for feet, hips, and heart. With essences of the Electric Swing Circus and Molotov Jukebox to its stroll and warm kisses and pecks of Parisian elegance and soul borne melodies, the treat of an encounter is insatiable in its energy and generous in its rewards.
After such a potent start expectations suggest maybe a sight dip was in store though hopes argued in the albums defence and were soon backed up by the excellent Goldfish Bowl. Acoustic guitar and the ever strong and entrancing vocals of Young lures the appetite back into the album with charm and lyrical tempting, beckoning them into the folk washed riot of indie pop called the chorus. Into its infectious stride with rhythms and vocal harmonies enslaving the emotions further, the ever fine guitar play and song imagination grins as they tease and coax their eager victim with relish.
Both Walk Away and Male Version Of Me offer a sirenesque bait to devour with greed, the first bringing a sixties enchantment through the guitars and brass as well as the keys led sway of the song. With the fabulous lush and powerful operatically trained voice of Young soaring the heart of the song whilst notes gleefully ride her delivery, the evocative ray of warmth leaves a thirst for more brewing whilst its successor from a riveting ballad like persuasion expands into a sunset of melodic colour and welcoming harmonies which simply wrap tender arms around what is by now simply ardour.
The album continues to impress and stoke the fires with the fiery Open, a track which walks through the ear with crystalline keys and emotive strings around the vocals before spreading its arms for a near on big band wind of passion soaked melodic enterprise wrapped in the continually bewitching intricacies and swerving delights of the band’s imagination. This is swiftly followed by the smouldering breath and beauty of Clay Heart and the graceful poetry of Neither The Beginning Nor The End, two more pieces of songwriting and musical adventure which impact and bring vibrant hues to thoughts and emotions.
Horatio steps forward next to stand as another major pinnacle in nothing but plateaus. Its initial slow emotive call is pure allurement and the doorway into an even greater heated glamour as the track explodes into a western carved atmosphere of Latin tempered love and deliciously contagious fire. Musically and vocally the track brings the desert sun on the senses whilst lyrically the bar room narrative is coloured by a full portrait of keys. Like a mix of Helldorado and Saint Agnes, the song is sheer majesty.
From the equally hot ballad Honey with searing brass rapture into the heart bred Segment the album takes the breathless body on another monumental inciting journey. The second track like many on the album lays down a weave of polite inducement before bursting into almost rapacious greed to control the body. As stunning and anthemic as love, the track builds and expels crescendos of ever intensifying melodic might and beauty, the emotional potency of the song burning the hairs on the back of the neck. Reminding of Scottish band Letters, it is simply one more sensational moment on the album.
Completed by the regal The Answer’s In The Question, the gypsy lit folk tones of Curtain Call, and the dramatically thrilling carnivalesque title track, Young assisted by Ellis, Niall Woods, Ollie Hopkins, Rich Watts, Paul Whalley, and Milly McGregor has created a sublime album which simply makes every adventure and day one drenched in sun and warmth. Released on her own Gift Of The Gab Records, The Band Called Out For More is one of the reasons we get up in the morning and life feels so good. A must not be missed release.
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