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article imageReview: Hattie Webb's sublime new release To The Bone Special

By Tim Sandle     Jun 4, 2017 in Entertainment
London - Hattie Webb, one half of the 'sublime' Webb sisters, has released her debut solo album. Described by some as 'baroque pop', it contains many heartfelt and lush new compositions.
Hattie Webb is a singer-songwriter-harpist. Together with her sister Charley, Hattie has featured on five of Leonard Cohen’s albums (and many of the late singer-songwriter's tours) as well as working with a range of other musicians, including Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Sting and Glen Hansard. As the Webb sisters, the duo released three albums. A new record, To The Bone, marks Hattie Webb's solo release. The album was produced through a crowdfunding campaign.
The new album is initiate, lush and it aurally appealing. Key to most of the thirteen songs is Hattie's exquisite harp playing, with contributes to the 'baroque pop' tones, where elements of classical music are infused with the tuneful pop melodies. This is perhaps most clearly exhibited on the title track To The Bone, where the full capabilities of the harp as an instrument for popular music are realized:
Various themes are captured and resonated through the album, including love and hope.
Hattie Webb is also a good lyricist, with the lyrics capturing the tone of the music. Take the song River, which opens the new album:
Eye of the river
Mouth of the sea
I wanna be like the water
Going where I need to be
If I'm to deliver
I have to believe
I am a river
The gentleness of the flow and the uplifting nature of the song are reflected in both the melody and the words. This is cleverly achieved with the track As Long As We're Dancing, which opens with a mournful piano, and is then transcended through Webb's ethereal vocals.
One of the standout tracks is Intimate Conversation, which suggests the difficulties associated with self-expression, as when Webb sings "The most intimate conversation I ever had was with a stranger / He was almost naked on the bed / All I could do was speak my mind and bread the bread."
READ MORE: The Webb Sisters light up London gig
Some of the songs yearn to be hit-singles. The most radio friendly is the mathematically riddled Arithmetic, for which a promotional video has been released:
Another two exceptional tracks are H1MN, where the harp playing is matched by some toe-tapping rhythms; and Love A While, where the accompaniments are pared down to give maximum effect to some dreamy vocals.
To The Bone was released on June, 3 2017. The album was engineered by Marcel van Limbeek, best known for his work with Tori Amos. Featured on the recording are Teitur, Lester Salmins, Sam Semple and siblings Brad, Rocco and Charley Webb.
To The Bone is a clever, heartwarming and uplifting album. 5 out of 5.
More about Hattie Webb, webb sisters, Leonard cohen
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