Jill Lorean This Rock

Label
Monohands
Released
1st April 2022

Monorail Album of the Month

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Format Info

LP with Signed Risograph Print
with Limited Signed Riso, decorated with Gold Leaf

Jill Lorean, veteran of several Glasgow groups flies free on her debut solo album and makes the best music of her career to date. Each copy comes with a signed Risograph card decorated with Gold Leaf and wrapped in wax paper.

This Rock builds upon Jill Lorean’s – musical nomme de plume of Jill O’Sullivan with Andy Monaghan of Frightened Rabbit on production and guitars¬† – history in various groups (Sparrow & The Workshop, Three Queens In Mourning et al) to create a deeply emotive rock music that soars high powered by one of the most unique vocals in our fair city. A powerful concoction informed by Fairport Convention-style rock re-workings of folk idioms (O’Sullivan’s vocal, an effortless swooner could have fronted Fairport Convention or Pentangle any day of the week), This Rock is one of most confident debut albums you’ll hear this year.

Beginning with a palm-muted guitar (or bass, let’s not be too specific) and drum pattern building tension under a restrained but quietly angry, virtuoso vocal, The Breaking Down is tangible audio drama. Opening into Mothers and featuring drumming by Peter Kelly, the album blossoms open with a taut groove bolstering the soaring voice. “To be free, to be free,” the refrain builds into explosion. Album stand out Black Dog has a repeated chorus, double tracked for maximum impact and shadowed by chromatically searing violins (don’t forget Jill O’Sullivan’s violin work can be head on several of her previous recordings in other groups).

The rockisms are employed sparingly but effectively: on the title track the band sound live, in the room as they crescendo up to the break of a cymbal closer. The Robin’s two chord loop groove recalls PJ Harvey’s early material, albeit with an upper register vocal and shuffling beat that propels ever forever. On this evidence, the robin is an allegory, perhaps representing a bravery in the face of adverse conditions. The bird motif surfaces through out This Rock, a spirit of freedom mirrored mostly in the effortless way the songs are sent sky-ward by the vocal performances.

What an incredible way to announce your arrival.