Iona Lane – Solace

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 3/5

A surprisingly powerful second EP from Lancaster-born singer-songwriter Iona Lane, whose slightly fragile voice is reminiscent of that of a young Suzanne Vega, or maybe even a Laura Veirs.  That said, it’s that very delivery that helps give these four songs their power.  The steady orchestrated build on Amsterdam, a reflection of the singer’s brief visit to the Netherlands a couple of years ago, is very much integral to keeping our interest until the end of the song – a tipped hat to Joel Shooter for those delicate off beats on that one and to Bess Shooter for the ethereal flute part.  If Iona’s voice did at first remind me of the young Vega, then “Sometimes” is every inch as pop friendly as “Marlene on the Wall” and I see no reason why it shouldn’t receive the same sort of airplay.  “Fly” or “Fall” sees a slightly more mellow side in Iona’s approach, with some delicate intonation, backed by an empathetic band arrangement.  The final song on the EP, “I’ll Run Without You”, is even more sparsely arranged, and invites us all to join in, to relieve the boredom of singing alone.  I see only good things ahead for Iona, and I look forward to hearing more and maybe even singing along, despite my own comparatively wobbly singing voice.