London-based songwriter Laura Fell is a pyschotherapist by day, and her music acts as an outlet for the ambiguity and doubt that she must so often hide in her occupation. Her debut album Safe From Me is therefore described as “a search for answers from a woman always expected to have them to hand,” working against the constant expectations for command and closure. Born on acoustic guitar but brought to vivid life with the addition of flugelhorns, cellos, saxophones and double bass, the resulting songs are both intimate and immersive, packed with personal emotion but edged with mystery too.
The record, out this November, is the first release from music blog turned label, Balloon Machine Records. Today sees the unveiling of lead single, ‘Bone of Contention’, giving the first real glimpse of the Laura Fell style. The instrumentation is welcoming, the lazy drums and warm washes of guitar lending a convalescent, hospital feel, and Fell’s vocals spread their wings within this atmosphere. Finding confidence and depth in patience, Fell allows her cadence to rise and fall intermittently, as though the conjured space allows some agency over her own emotions.
“‘Bone of Contention’ is an exercise in anger, really,” Fell says. “I’ve always struggled to feel anger without also feeling out of control, and therefore disempowered. What this song is about is allowing myself to sit with my anger, and ending up finding clarity and power within it.” But the result doesn’t sound angry. Rather, it feels like a composed and cathartic exhalation, a reclamation of something important.
Oh I’ve an axe to grind
A grudge to bear
A bone to pick with you
Safe From Me is set for release via Balloon Machine Records on the 20th November and you can pre-order it now.