Bryony Jarman-Pinto – Below Dawn

Five years after her wonderful debut “Cage & Aviary”, singer, songwriter and musician Bryony Jarman-Pinto is back with “Below Dawn”, released last Friday. The album is available on limited vinyl too and features a bonus instrumental track. The London-based singer opens this majestic opus with the very Angela Bofill GRP-ish “Water Come”, a beautiful, healing, soothing and totally relaxed tune which has some beautiful flute work by Gareth Lockrane. Produced by Nostalgia 77 (aka Benedic Lambin) who also records for the Tru Thoughts label, the album “speaks about myself just before I gave birth and stepped into a new era, so the name reflects that underlying hidden catalyst”, according to Bryony herself regarding the album’s title. Bryony is reflective and hypnotic on “O” (“a shape I can easily draw”) which has more of this very calm and tender backings.

Bryony Jarman-Pinto "Below Dawn"

The jazzy “Deep” perfectly mixes soul and Rhodes (Ross Stanley) into a mesmerising love song. A string trio is behind the very strong, acoustic piano-led “Moving Forward”, kind of Bill Withers meets Gil Scott-Heron meets Steely Dan. Brilliant arrangement with some neat trumpet playing too. And she turns socially-conscious on the pretty effervescent ballad “Leap”, her voice both soaring and cooling it out where necessary. I really dig the guitar (Tal Janes) on “Feel Those Things”, another midtempo soul groover which is really electrifying and boasts with some sort of late-night vocal arrangement mood. Very inspiring. And “Riverside” is like a conglomerate of Cassandra Wilson and Madeleine Peyroux, except vocal-wise of course. Bryony manages to come up with a truly unique and shimmering sound. “Frida-Rae”, the name of her child, is a sweet and soulful lullaby, brimming with clarity and spirit.

“Willow” comes across a bit bluesier than the rest of the album, making yet another turn, but never veering too far away from the overall subdued, almost zen-like atmosphere. The strings add oomph and finesse. “Station Road”, the album closer which also comes in an acapella version earlier on the album, is a very warm and comfy conclusion.

Bryony plays the Manchester Jazz Festival on May 19th.


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