Finding a new album which really lives up to the way it’s presented in the accompanying PR is a rarity, yet in New Moon, the debut album from Italian Grace Solero, it looks like we’ve found one.
Billed as an enchanting potion concocted from all the best bits of Alanis Morissette, PJ Harvey, and Skunk Anansie, it would be pretty easy for us to say that we agree and leave this review at that.
Though to do so would be to do a great disservice to such captivating album for whilst such influences are in abundance, Solero goes a long way to carve out an identity of her own.
Forthcoming single Apartheid takes a few listens to really appreciate. The way bubbling bass and drums and swirling guitars weave in and out of each other so loosely and seemingly without direction creates a less than distinguished impression, but look beyond that and you’ll find a sense of melody and grandeur so invigorating its hard not to like.
Things take a turn for the better next as I Don’t –where those Morissette comparisons really kick in- slides joyfully into the magnificent Troops.
With robust, tribal drums rolling under soaring vocals and rich, thick guitars, Troops sees Solero at perhaps her most poignant and political, yet also at her most catchy, infectious and exciting. It’s an absolute gem of a tune, just one of many more that follow.
Switching gears from the swooping, goth-coated rock that went before it, Time for Leaving muscles its way to the fore on the back of a driving punk-rock riff and snarling vocals. If I Don’t was the sound of Alanis Morissette rearing her pointy head, then Time for Leaving is where Solero channels Skunk Anansie in a track which could quite easily do well as a single.
Then again, there’s hardly a track on the album which couldn’t.
Whether it’s the gorgeous New Place, with its haunting acoustic introduction and thrilling chorus, the fast, furious and aggressive Diary or the dark, foreboding Stay, every track here packs a heavy punch; rattling the senses with a passionate delivery and confident execution.
New Moon is certainly the very definition of the old phrase ‘All Killer, No Filler’. Indeed, even its weaker moments only come across as such since they’re overshadowed by the power and beauty on display elsewhere on this truly stunning rock record which more than lives up to its hype.