Yvonne Lyon – Growing Wild

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Marc Higgins

This is the fourth Yvonne Lyon release I have reviewed and with the amazing voice a constant what is noticeable is the development of her sound.  Growing Wild has a contemporary edge and a synergy of classic acoustic songwriter and the very now swirl of electronica.  “Winter Ground” blends bouzouki and guitars with subtle electronics and strings to create a fine soundscape that Yvonne glides with a perfect vocal.  The production, shared between Graeme Duffin, Sandy Jones and Yvonne, and some fine arrangements deliver a sophisticated sound.

The title track has the confident rock pop swagger of Sheryl Crow or closer to home Thea Gilmore with a big production chorus.  “Insignificant As Stars” places a delicate vocal by Yvonne over perfectly layered guitars, tinkling keys and Cello.  The overall effect is radio friendly sonic bliss while retaining a sense of Lyons earlier material.  “Chasing The Silence” and “Magnolias pare it right back, with guitars and voice carrying a song of space and solitude, again lifted on layered but gossamer light music.  “Compass Hill” has the sophisticated jazzy folk feel of an Eddi Reader track, and that’s before Eddi herself adds some distinctive wordless vocals.  “Enough” with an insistent Cello and guitar intro is darker, more intense.  The lyrics deal with pain and bearing a burden and Yvonne’s performance is charged.  Lyon’s rippling piano is the star of “Illuminate” along with a heavenly vocal that swells and rises like a choir.  “Sail On” is anthemic, lyrically and sonically, words and atmosphere raise the hairs on the back of your neck, creating a thank you and goodnight encore moment for definite.  “Back To Love” is a country relationship song with the feel of an Indigo Girls classic, thoughtful lyrics and a fine chorus.  “Bigger Heart”, written with Boo Hewerdine is a fine melancholic love song, Yvonne croons over a light as air strummed guitat and organ on a beautiful track.  “We Accumulate The Years” has the pathos of Paul Simon’s bookends and the feel good glow of a Christmas song.  Yvonne Lyon reflects on all of life and delivers crystal clear gems and polished lines of reflection and insight.  Listen out for the fragment of nursery rhyme piano right at the end.  Yvonne Lyon consistently delivers fine albums and recordings, but this feels like a step up to something special, sophisticated and classic.  Everything from the cover that mixes Green (wo) man and graffiti textures, to the rich sound surrounding the stunning voice says big time and big time aspirations.