Direction Of Travel is the third album from Laura Kidd aka She Makes War and is a collection of quintessentially poppy songs with a melancholic edge to them and completed by some electronic, gothic and 90s alternative rock undertones to the songs, all held together by some powerful vocal stylings and is perfect for fans of Cat Power.
And what’s it like?
This is an album that is on one hand uplifting and on the other mournful and gloomy and these two disparate feelings collide with each other on more than occasion adding to a sense of longing rather than confusion and there is a dreamy feel to the music on offer and this makes a good counteraction to the shimmering guitars that elevate certain tracks such as Cold Shoulder, a grungy with a pop sheen track with a sound that is straight out of 1994 and is reminiscent of bands like Lush, Throwing Muses or Belly (In fact, Tanya Donnelly who is singer of both Throwing Muses and Belly guests on the song Paper Thin) with those brilliant harmonies. The vocals throughout the album are nothing short of breathtaking and She Makes War has a wide range from the soaring vocals evident on opening track Drown Me Out and the electro tinged 5000 Miles to the sorrowful nature of the string laden Paper Thin and Stargazing.
The strings that are on Direction Of Travel play a big part in the emotional nature of the album and those strings in tandem with the passionate vocals make for an intriguing listen.
What are the album’s best songs?
The reflective Please Don’t is definitely a contender for the best song on the album with its stripped back nature and its shimmering strings as are the emotive Paper Thin and the albums closing track The Best and all deserve a special mention but it has to be the beautiful Stargazing, a song that definitely fulfils the dichotomy of being both mournful and uplifting complete with some truly gorgeous singing that could very well break your heart from Kidd and a hazy and dreamlike feel throughout the whole song not to mention the addition of those strings again, which on this tracks are completely stirring and add to the uplifting feel before the track changes to having a more heartbreaking feeling to it.
Are there any music videos and/or audio?
1. Drown Me Out
2. Cold Shoulder
3. In Cold Blood
5. Paper Thin
6. Please Don’t
8. Slow Down Sunshine
9. 5000 Miles
10. Time To Be Unkind
11. Turning To You
12. The Best
What’s the final verdict?
This is a thoughtful and very human album jam packed full of very real emotion and will undoubtedly be the soundtrack for many joyous occasions and heartbreaks alike by a lot of people.
Words by Gavin Brown.