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Tallulah Rendall - Love Carries Me Home (self-released)

22 April 2024

It is when you come across artists like Tallulah Rendall (not that there are many artists like her) that you realise the difference between folk and acoustic music. To many, the two are synonymous; if there is an acoustic guitar being wielded, then it must be folk music, they would posit! But folk is a genre, and acoustic music is an approach, a stylistic choice. Although the music found on Love Carries Me Home, her sixth album, I believe, shares many of the same elements and methods that make folk music what it is, it is all the other sonic building blocks that she adds in that make her, this album and her music in general, so unique.

Perhaps this is folk music but folk music made in the liminal spaces, that is, on the blurry sonic borders where that genre mixes, melds, and merges with other, adjacent sounds. “Expanse of You” is the sound of folk music drifting into darker, ambient spaces, more drift than drive, ethereal and other. “Heart Sutra,” the current single, is found where Western choral music meets Eastern traditions, meditative and built for a higher calling than mere pop music, a brave and strange song that hopefully will encourage others to wander free of genre and geography, style and era…chants would be a fine thing!

The title track is a pop song rendered down to its essence, stripped bare of any need for the genre’s love of gimmickry and guile. It’s just a lovely song delivered in the most honest and authentic of ways.

And we can’t end without mentioning her fantastic voice, which is at once crystalline cool and warm and welcoming, delicate when required, powerful when needed, always poised, and effortlessly polished, yet always real, human and heartfelt.

I met her once. It was in a small music bar in the wilds of Wiltshire, where she was guesting with a mercurial, alternative and ornate rock band whose name escapes me but who I believe had a Russian drummer, some association with the mighty Nick Beggs, and whom I remember being very loud. I doubt she remembers, I only vaguely do. There, she played the role of rock chick brilliantly, but it is great to finally catch up with her in her own world. And what a gorgeous world it is that she has built for herself.