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album review: the earth, the sun, the moon, the sky, catherine traicos

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From the first gentle strains of The Earth, the Sea, the Moon and the Sky, the elegant Catherine Traicos casts a spell over listeners. Opening track, ‘One by One’ showcases her interesting, layered voice, subtle and full. The quiet track gives way to ‘All the Angels’, which uses guitar to weave a trail for listeners to follow. Thy lyrics are as engaging as the melody, with Catherine spilling her heart in a frank but introspective way, singing ‘it’s hard enough to have disgrace to my name, harder still to have no place to hide my shame’.

‘Sunshine’ is a slow burning track that benefits from faint percussion, while clicks and sultry vocals give ‘Share Your Heart’ a glamorous, throwback feel. On ‘The Morning’, Catherine’s voice is strong, yet hushed, and soars around the melody in a captivating way. ‘Devil’s Lover’ takes its cues from the title, moody and foreboding in a way that is a little too instructional. ‘Carry Me Away’ is simple and sad, guided by a melody that rolls over you and opening with the line ‘well, I’m too tired too sing the blues for you’.

The real gem of the album is ‘The Dream’, if only for the fact that it separates itself from the rest of the album by being reflective without being melancholy. This is the one track that could be afforded a sing-a-long.  The album ends with ‘A Strangers Lullaby’, which proves once again that the album’s highlights lie at the end, with an interesting melody that unfurls itself gradually, coupled with deep lyrics.

While The Earth, the Sea, the Moon and the Sky delivers honest, reflective tracks sung in a standout voice, there are no real points of difference between them. All employing gentle guitar plucked at different speeds and soft percussion, the songs are much too similar to pick a favourite, instead creating an album that would beautifully complement a meal, a rainy day, a baking session or a quiet moment alone.

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