(SXSW 2015 flavoured!) Album Review: Laura Welsh – Soft Control

By on Monday, 9th March 2015 at 12:00 pm
 


Laura Welsh is a fine example of an artist’s sheer persistence and hard work paying off. The Staffordshire-born singer/songwriter began her music career as the front woman of indie rock group Laura and the Tears. Following the band’s split, Welsh embarked on a solo career under the Hey Laura alias, before finally settling on her birth name for the release of her content.

It’s been quite the journey for the 28-year-old, which has already seen her perform as a support act for the likes of Ellie Goulding and London Grammar. Not to mention the fact she supplied the vocals for Gorgon City’s summer anthem ‘Here For You’, providing her with the major exposure she needed to grab her big break. Welsh reflects upon this journey within her debut album ‘Soft Control’: the ideal pedestal for Laura Welsh to display her array of talents as a singer, songwriter and producer, to which she rises to the challenge with an almost perfection.

As early on as the album opener and title track ‘Soft Control’, it’s clear to see that there’s something incredibly special about Laura Welsh. Throughout the album, which flickers between euphoric pop anthems (such as ‘Break the Fall’) and heartfelt ballads (such as ‘Still Life‘), Welsh’s emotive, raw-sounding vocals perfectly complement the untainted honesty and emotion buried within her lyrics, combined with commanding choruses that will be imprinted on your mind.

Intertwining the tracks is the underlying idea of dealing with emotional struggles, a theme which forms the basis of ‘Hardest Part’, the captivating collaboration between Laura Welsh and ‘All of Me’ singer John Legend. Whereas there was a danger of the amalgamation of two dominant voices clashing, the two harmonise beautifully to form a truly heartfelt track. ‘Soft Control’ also features Welsh’s previous singles, including the piano-pop sound of ‘Unravel’, the sensual ‘Cold Front’ and ‘Ghosts’, a powerful song with a menacing backdrop (reviewed by me here on TGTF in January).

Laura Welsh’s ‘Soft Control’ is the result of years of tough grind, and it has undoubtedly paid off. The album uncovers the singer/songwriter’s vast array of talents, forming a unique blend of a number of contemporary artists: there’s a tablespoon of Jessie Ware, a couple of grams of Florence Welch and (dare I say) a pinch of Adele. ‘Soft Control’ is likely to give Laura Welsh the breakthrough she deserves, as she carves her niche in an overcrowded horde of up-and-coming talent.

8.5/10

Laura Welsh’s debut album ‘Soft Control’ is released today on Outsiders/Polydor. She appears next week in Austin, Texas, at SXSW 2015.

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