Susan Clynes, Life Is, 2014

susan clynes - life isSo, just when you think you have figured the MoonJune Records label out, they surprise you with this release. Instead of another virtuoso on guitar, we now get a Belgian lady that sings and plays piano. On 5 tracks Susan is accompanied by cellist Simon Lenksi and on 2 by drummer Nico Chkifi and bass player Pierre Mottet. And what the thumbnail on the left hardly makes noticeable, the whole album is recorded live!

So is this singer songwriter material? Well, not quite I think, or at least not all. When 11 songs clock in at over an hour, you know you can expect more elaborate work. Which is not so strange when you know she has guested with The Wrong Object, and is a Conservatory graduate. Her piano work is playful and full of depth. Sometimes her vocals reminded me a bit of Kate Bush, with whom she probably shares a desire for artistic freedom and the capability to express herself very well on an emotional level. Other references are Tori Amos and Fiona Apple. The cello functions not only as an orchestral addition, but also sometimes adds an almost human voice to the music. Very original. A truly interesting mix of songs from a undoubtedly talented performer. And yes, sometimes a bit rough around the edges, but hey, it is recorded live! Recommended.