Marsha Swanson - Watershed

The pleading Donna Lewis sharing a therapy session with Joni Mitchell opens up a world of well produced pop music with heart and soul; ‘Don’t Blame it on Love’. Marsha’s melancholy mingles exquisitely with her lush voice to make the reflection both meaningful and bracing.  ‘Cry’ continues the lucid investigation into matters of the heart, digging down to imply that you do not need to have a voice as low as your boots in order to convey deep thought and heartfelt yearning.

Swanson’s voice floats serenely on a surf-board of cushioning piano riffs, gliding around the mind in the previous single ‘Losing Me’. The old friend of hindsight puts matters in their place and helps our heroine come to terms with a hopeless situation.  ‘Hoovering The Sky’ is a shotgun that starts the album really firing; the vocals lift up enough to knock KT Tunstall off her pedestal (wouldn’t that be nice?). This offering is dreamy bubble pop to wrap up and give to your loved one as a gift, with the carefree freedom made all the more eye-catching because of the reflective songs that have preceded it. The reflection returns and Marsha’s stubborn defiance is at mule point in ‘Madam M’, as the Beth Orton in her comes to surface. This London lass has what it takes to carry the burden of responsibility of bringing veracity and thoughtfulness back into English pop music.

David Adair

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