Belgian singer-songwriter Fiona Brown is inspired by roots, rock and soul music, and this EP is her first international release. A multi-instrumentalist, she’s done everything on the five tracks herself. It’s quite an achievement.
The production is sensitive, nuanced: the title track begins quietly, the brooding, atmospheric and sparse instrumentation hanging in the background as Brown’s hushed vocal paints an affecting portrait of inner turmoil.
‘Wisdom’, released domestically as her debut single, is a stripped-back rock track, built around a sturdy beat and a strolling bassline, over which Fiona brings the soul in her vocal delivery. Nothing’s over-egged, but the layers of harmony bring depth and an understated emotional force.
The sultry blues swagger and sway of ‘Speak My Mind’ works well, bringing a savvy sassy groove to proceedings, while Used to be Blind’ amalgamates elements of shoegaze and trip-hop under within the broader shape of an acoustic country singer-songwriter song template. The final track, ‘Sweet Love’ is different again: softer, more accessible, but no less inhabited by Brown, the EP needs to be inspected from all perspectives in order to begin to get a measure of the artist.
As a taster, it’s an intriguing and attractive introduction to Fiona Brown. It’s not easy to determine exactly which direction she’s heading, but there’s a quality and consistency on display here that suggests whatever she does next, it will be good.
Fiona Brown Online