For a duo, Lazibyrd make a pleasingly big sound on their recently released debut album, Under the Sky. Hailing from Somerset, Lazibyrd – Sharon Martin and Tom Chapman – combine voices, guitar, violin, viola and ukulele to good effect on a 10-track collection of original songs of love, loss and in opener I’m Alright Jack, a busy minor key paean to alienation, have come up with one of the most subtle protest songs I’ve heard in a long time.
Chattering Monkeys counts the passing hours as it muses on the linked subjects of insomnia and existential angst in a suitably soothing manner; the neat strings motif over Sharon and Tom’s wordless harmonies is unexpectedly catchy. The reassuring lyric of The Little Things is all the more comforting for keeping to a simple arrangement of just guitar and voices while Fog On The Water creates a suitably brooding backdrop for its subject of self-doubt.
By contrast, Half Of One Whole is a more upbeat tune, before Run To The Dawn returns to a more introspective tone with some timely key changes as Sharon’s violin takes the spotlight. Staccato strings are a highlight of the uptempo Fly Away while Love Unrequited covers a very traditional subject with a welcome lightness of touch.
The unexpected twists and turns of There She Goes provide a clever and assured backdrop for a lyric which examines the maxim that appearances can be deceptive before Under The Stars brings the album to a close with a suitably forward-looking song about moving on.
On the basis of this album, Lazibyrd, although comparative newcomers on the scene, have shown that they have all the necessary ingredients to take it to the next level and are definitely one to watch.
Review by: Helen Gregory