The forecast is in
In an odd way, the opening song on this nine-track album, sums up both “Rhythm Of The Rain” as a collection and Amelia White herself.
The chorus to “Little Cloud Over Little Rock” suggests that: “And I won’t forget to remember/ Instagram moments won’t last forever” whereas not 30 seconds after the second verse is declaring: “And it’s another round for the old man humming/ To George Jones —his friends are coming”.
Now MV is usually prepared for a rant about the all-pervasive nonsense of social media, but no, on this occasion it’s not the time for that. This time it is about the thought that this is classic flavoured country blues for the modern age.
Amelia White is an artist, rather like Annie Keating, who sounds like she belongs. One that seems born to do what she does. There is a moment on the title track where she says: “don’t think too much” to her band, as if to emphasise that this is all natural, and, whilst it sounds like a denial of her skill to say it comes easy, it does at least seem that way.
There is an effortless quality about “Sinking Sun” which brings to mind Springsteen circa “Tunnel Of Love”, but the summery quality of the music is at odds with the lyrics, and that is one of the true charms of “…Rain.”
The type of record with a real bleak heart and some imperceptible sadness lurking just below the surface. Nowhere is this better shown than on “Sugar Baby” which sees White almost murmur the words over a stripped down and bluesy backing.
She’s nothing if not versatile too, given that this is followed by the fabulous “Supernova” and her cracked vocals sound beautifully fragile here, in a way reminiscent of the recent wonderful Hannah Aldridge album.
“Yuma” explores a folky road in a more overt way, but the brilliant “Said It Like A King” is perhaps the best thing here as White skilfully weaves the story together in a way that few would attempt.
Story is a good word for most of this too, as she is frequently able to infuse her songs with such vivid imagery, as well as being to able meld so many different and disparate sounds together. “True Or Not” just about restrains itself from being full on rock n roll. It is, as one of the lyrics states, “a peaceful battle-cry”.
“Let The Wind Blow” which ends this, in many ways brings things back full circle, with the same frustrations of the small town that she opened the album with. And there is a real mournful air about the violin to add to the desolation. An artist who is more than happy to do things her own way, Amelia White does that again on “Rhythm Of The Rain” and here – more than anything – it seems to just come naturally.