Phantom Limb have been getting attention at home and abroad with the release of their new album ‘The Pines‘ which was produced by Marc Ford (The Black Crowes) and released last month. They are currently part way through their UK tour (dates below) which commenced with HMV’s Next Big Thing festival.
At it’s heart The Pines is country-soul with hints of classic R&B and lead singer Yolanda Quartey is more than capable of delivering bouts of tenderness and grit and determination when called for.
I was suprised to read that they are from Bristol…that will be England…not Tennessee. Despite her involvement in the Bristol music scene and a tour with Massive Attack in 2008 there is no crossover which the likes of Morcheeba were more than adept at with Dive Deep 2008. Having spent most of their careers as sessions musicians and providing backing vocals for the likes of Adele and Dizzee Rascal this album walks a seperate path to that scene…this break-away is focused further by the prominent album theme of escape.
There are some familiar elements throughout this album which make it a good listen…glimpses of Laurel Canyon are evident with Neil Young and The Band as are some of the Stones’ more American roots excursions, whatever the influences there is variety.
There are some belters, Missy and Harder than Stone would put any singers voice to the test but Quartey makes it all sound so effortless. Just as she can build the atmosphere she can equally take it right back down as she does on the finale High and Dry.
Recommended tracks: Give Me a Reason; The Pines; Harder than Stone; Gravy Train
01 March Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
03 March Latest Music Bar, Brighton
05 March Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
08 March Whelan’s Upstairs, Dublin
09 March Mello Mello, Liverpool
15 March Ride Café, Plymouth
The Pines is released on Naim Edge (Feb 13)