Helena Mace comes from Bournemouth on the south coast and she has asked me to write a review of an album she released last year.
'Mouth organ and dobro give the opening track 'Breaking Up Ain't Easy' a proper cowboy, round the campfire feel. Even though the story is a sad one it has an uptempo catchy beat. Telling the story of how she wanted her relationship to last, but now it's over because she didn't read the signs.
The song 'Strangers' took me on a journey to the Emerald Isle, with it's Irish sounding violin and soft echoey vocals. It's about being in a relationship with someone, and just drifting along on different paths and although you are both in love with each other, sometimes it feels like you are total strangers.
I really like the piano arrangement on 'Rescue Me'. Violin also features heavily. Helena is overlaying vocal harmonies extensively on this song to give a really full, all round sound. It's about hitting rock bottom and then starting that long climb back up.
Piano features throughout 'We're Still Here' giving it a really lovely acoustic feel with violins in the background it is a haunting beautiful ballad. This is about a lasting love. You know each other inside and out. Totally in tune with each others thoughts and needs. Looking back and wondering where all those years went. I can totally relate to this song in every way.
The next song 'I Know I'll Be Ok' puts me in mind of Pink Floyd. Sounds strange when knowing this is a country song but it works really well. It's about losing someone. You know you will be ok eventually, and time will help you heal, but just at this moment you want to be left alone with your memories.
The violin features prominently in a track aptly named 'Gothic Lullaby' because that is exactly how I would describe this song. It's whole arrangement transports me back to medieval times with it's fair maidens and warriors.
With a foot tapping, uptempo beat, this next song is about a break up. She doesn't want the memory of him to invade her thoughts. She doesn't want to write songs about him. She wants to move on and not give him a second thought. Wants him to be 'Someone Else's Heartache'
'Fallen' brings dominant harmonies to this album for the first time. An acoustic guitar is simply strummed. It tells the story of a girl who thinks life is too short to wait around for you to ask her out so she is taking the bull by the horns and is on her way over to tell you how she feels.
'I Chose You' is about doing everything possible to let a person know that you want to spend the rest of your life with them. It's an up-tempo happy song.
'Beautiful Mess' is stripped right back with just piano and a strings section. It shows off the honey tones of Helena's voice to maximum effect. It tells the story of someone who once felt lonely and unloved by a person they had set their heart on, but they are now telling that person that they finally feel like they belong.
'Chasing Dreams' was released in April 2018. It is available to download on all digital platforms. Would make a great addition to your music library? Yes I think it would.