Album Review | Ivy Crown Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5
Drawing from the same well of vocal styling as Josienne Clarke, the County Durham-based singer songwriter Harri Endersby wafts her ethereal sounds your way via nine self-penned songs on this, her second solo studio album, which comes hot on the heels of her 2017 debut Home/Lives. With sparse arrangements built around Harri’s voice and guitar, piano and mandolin, and with only the slightest embellishment, courtesy of Rich Marsh, Ciaran Algar, Toby Shaer and Ian Stephenson, Mazes captures the steady development of a vibrant singer songwriter, whose ties to the North East remain a focal point of her work.
“Mountainside” is a gentle folk/pop opener, suggesting an affinity between human nature and the natural world, its spirit captured in the accompanying video promo for the song. there’s a sense of joy and gentleness embedded in each song, which invites further attention. The title song providing possibly the richest vocal performance on the album. If it worked for Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird” and to a lesser extent Roger Waters’ “Grantchester Meadows”, birdsong can be a most pleasing way to open a song and Harri finds it hard to resist on “Isla”, a gorgeous song featuring some fine ensemble orchestrations. Co-produced by Harri and Rich, Mazes takes you to places you didn’t know you wanted to go.
Choice Track: “Breathe” (NSV 488)