Sam Lou Talbot : Mer-MadeRelease : 7 July 2018
Mer-Made is a soul-stirring, emotionally resonant album of seven songs.
Improvised and recorded in single takes using a portable studio in a domestic space, the sheer life-force of the music forges an immediate connection between listener and singer.
English, but Glasgow-based, Sam Lou Talbot is an artist, poet and deep thinking student of songwriting (she is studying for a PhD researching alt. / nomadic songwriting practice and performance), but the energy captured on Mer-Made comes from a primeval rather than a cerebral source.
Talbot has been compared to Leonard Cohen and Patti Smith, and shares the absorbing charisma of both - her voice is as earthed and compelling as Lisa O’Neill’s, with a lyrical flow that, perhaps because of the experimental nature of the recordings, feels as if it is slowly detonating from her sub-conscious.
Mer-Made reaches a high point with a nine minute emotive extemporisation, Jasmine.
As with all the pieces, Jasmine's instrumentation is sparse and elemental, relying on shifts of pace and emphasis rather than musical complexity. Talbot’s vocal is an incantation; the song's mood dark and seductive, the performance charged and raw.
Artfully rough-edged, Mer-Made is never less than an album of beautifully intense and hypnotic music - its poetic spirit seemingly conjured from the shadows and half-light of the artist’s own psyche.