Having recently spent time listening to the songs of Nanci Griffith, I can’t help but feel a sort of kinship between her and Lisa Redford. The latter’s most recent EP ‘Edge of Love’ is my first encounter with the Norwich-based singer-songwriter. And her mix of folk and country reminds me of Griffith’s style. In particular, the title track blends the two genres incredibly well, creating a melancholic melody that is captivating beautiful.
However, Redford also infuses her songs with a pop sensibility, creating a more cosmopolitan sound in the process. This is particularly true of her latest single ‘Let Go’, a song that would not sound out of place on a mainstream country chart. The same could be said for ‘Anything But Easy’, its highly-infectious chorus simply but effectively summing up the theme of the EP.
‘I Just Can’t Forget’ is perhaps the most musically intriguing track of five here. Its sultry intro, featuring the combination of pedal steel and electric guitars, is allowed to thread beautifully through the rest of the song. Acoustic guitar and drums are gradually added, with a dual vocal harmony towards the end completing an impressive musical build. Meanwhile, final track ‘Alone Tonight’ is the most impressive lyrically. Perhaps because it is a stripped back ballad, it is allowed to demonstrate the real strength of Redford’s songwriting skills which, to all intents and purposes, are to be found throughout this EP.
It is not hard to understand why Bob Harris calls her ‘one of our finest singer/songwriters’, and why she has been compared to a young Emmylou Harris as a result. ‘Edge of Love’ is a heartfelt, easy-on-the-ear EP. For those looking for a folk-laden country record, you need look no further.
Review by Gaz Williams