It is four years since Chastity Brown’s first UK release, Back Road Highways. Now the American roots singer songwriter returns with an excellent new album full of beautiful songs delivered in her evocative and warm tones. The ten tracks that make up Silhouette Of Sirens may have a theme of heartbreak running through them, but the power of the music leaves a feeling of triumph over adversity, of stepping from the darkness into the light.
Chastity Brown is a singer who doesn’t fit easily into a genre, always a good thing. Her roots, or Americana, sound has elements of country and folk, but also draws from blues, soul and gospel, all fused together to create an ever changing canvas for her poetic lyrics. This reflects her own diverse background: now based in Minnesota she was born in New Hampshire with an Irish mother and an African American musician father, and raised in Tennessee, close to Memphis.
Opening track Drive Slow sets the tone for the album with pain wracked vocals in a deep track that emphasises the need to take time to appreciate the journey through life, whatever it might throw at you. And when Brown lets her voice soar in the chorus the result is sublime. Lead single Wake Up has a faster pace, a song of deep yearning and desire. Carried Away is piano led and sung with real feeling. Whisper builds from some fine acoustic guitar work into a sensual and soulful track that simmers nicely.
Silhouette Of Sirens is centred on two superb tracks that add up to twelve minutes of fine music that showcase Chastity Brown’s wide range of talents perfectly. My Stone has soul, passion and deep feelings aplenty and vocals that rise quite majestically. It’s a love song, a song of potential loss, yet is delivered with power over a deep string arrangement. It is followed by Lies, a slow blues track where the rejection of a deceiver is powerfully expressed over some dirty guitar licks. The pain is turned into strength and the pointed lyrics are spat out with passion as the track builds to a big finish.
Pouring Rain then takes the album in a different direction. A catchy uptempo soul number with reverb heavy vocals, this is a modern take on a classic sound and it suits Brown’s voice perfectly. Colorado sees the country influence take over briefly in a travelling song delivered with a world-weary air. How Could I Forget sees another fine expressive vocal performance in a song of loss. The excellent closing track Lost again sees the piano backing Brown’s vocals. Feelings of alienation come through strongly here, not only portraying heartbreak but also a search for a future identity.
Silhouette Of Sirens is an album without a weak track. Every one of the ten varied songs is well constructed and sung superbly by Chastity Brown. She has a good vocal range and the ability to draw the listener into the deep emotion of her songs. Her songwriting skill is impressive, as is the way she puts great life into her lyrics. And the good news is that Brown will be touring the UK in June, playing ten dates across the country. Don’t miss this exceptionally talented performer.
Venue: Silhouette Of Sirens
Support Band: Red House Records