Amelia Curran – They Promised You Mercy review

Amelia CurranWords: Kelly Ronaldson

Playing guitar and writing songs as a teen, Nova Scotia songstress Amelia Curran dropped out of university to busk on the streets of St. Johns, leading to the release of her first album, Barricade, back in 2000. Since then, she has been nominated for two East Coast Music Awards and released another five records. Now, Curran is heading back to the UK this year, with the eagerly awaited release of her brand new album, They Promised You Mercy, released on January 26th via Blue Rose Records.

The album opens with Somebody Somewhere, a track that sounds like an upbeat Sheryl Crowe song – the kind you’d listen to during a long road trip in the middle of summer. Its memorable lyrics, ‘They promised you mercy and they’ll find it somehow’, seem to be the generator for the final album title, combined with the catchy ‘Na na na na’. Next up comes the slower acoustic track, Coming For You – Curran’s vocals are impressive here, somewhere between The Wreckers’ Jessica Harp and Sarah McLachlan.

Never Say Goodbye is an instant stand out, and the song’s simple guitar riffs fit perfectly with its relatable, inspirational lyrics. The Reverie, however, combines folk-y picks at the guitar, with brilliant blend of soft, McLachlan and Bareilles-esque vocals, while The Matador gives off more of a slow-dance feel. They Promised You Mercy closes with the country-like Strike The Band and a fantastic acoustic track titled You’ve Changed. Both of these have a hint of Decemberists’ magic, and enchanting lyrics that can get stuck in your head for days.
Amelia Curran has already impressed the UK – the Telegraph’s Martin Chilton described this album as ‘a strong, quietly forceful album’, whilst Maverick Magazine awarded it 4*’s – but now it’s time for her to take over. Curran will also be completing an 8-date tour across the UK between January and February – dates are as follows:

29th Jan – Montrose, Montrose Folk Club
30th Jan – Glasgow, The Tron (as part of Celtic Connections)
2nd Feb – Cottingham, the Back Room
3rd Feb – Newcastle, Jumpin’ Hot Club @The Studio in Live Theatre
4th Feb – Southport (Merseyside), Grateful Fred’s
6th Feb – Bury, The Met
8th Feb – Sheffield, The Greystones
9th Feb – Norwich, The Bicycle Shop

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