Album Review: Laura Welsh – See Red EP

By on Monday, 28th November 2016 at 12:00 pm

Laura Welsh See Red EP coverAn initially beautifully constructed and soulful offering from Staffordshire’s Laura Welsh sees heartfelt and emotive lyrics backed by a canvas of delicate and determined instrumentation. Welsh first rose to prominence after being featured on the ’50 Shades of Grey’ soundtrack, which admittedly is the perfect place for her dark and brooding sonic atmosphere. The ‘See Red’ EP opens with ‘Red’, a track which immediately demands your attention. Atmosphere is first laid out with a carefully place soft piano line. Welsh’s voice then joins the party, a dominating presence over everything, you can see why the comparisons to Florence Welch are in abundance. Once an overbearing beat kicks in, it all leads to the pre-chorus that prepares you for the song to fully take off. Spatterings of digital instrumentation flutter in and out, decorating this dark, soulful track with a lighter edge that builds an irrefutable attraction.

‘Naive’ takes on a similar build, with a large and overtly present beat pushing everything forward, while the intricate details create a conscious intrigue. Throughout the chorus, layers of Welsh’s voice serve as backing whilst the leading Welsh sits atop the orchestration with absolute ease. As she sings about “staying naive”, the nature of Welsh’s voice sharply contrasts her lyricism.

Generally there’s not much change in the rest of the proceedings, which doesn’t quite turn into a negative as the EP is only four tracks. Were the effort any longer, this would be a potential threat to its attraction and see boredom easily set in. ‘Concrete’ has a slightly increased forward-pushing beat that offers urgency to the standing Welsh puts herself in. She emotes, “tell me something new, something bold, something true, before we hit the concrete”, describing a relationship on its last legs. Were it sung with more of a pleading tone, it would have an indisputable hook. But as she doesn’t, something feels lacking here, as her delivery doesn’t partner with the rapid base beat.

Finale ‘Numb’ has the most to offer in terms of instrumentation. The basics of atmosphere and piano make an appearance again, just as they did at the beginning of the EP. But instead of leading to an erupting chorus, it merely ebbs and flows, doing its hardest to fully create the world Welsh wants you to be in. The track goes through the motions, not quite leading to a crescendo as you’d assume it would. Instead, it peters out into an atmospheric ether.

A pleasant enough offering, but when Welsh undoubtedly returns with an LP, a bit more variety and exploration would certainly help retain interest for strength that is obviously there. The basics are all here but with a voice of such power and range like Welsh’s, it’s a disservice to not take full advantage of it.


Laura Welsh’s ‘See Red’ EP is out now on her own imprint TwentyTwoSeven Recordings / Republic of Music. For more on TGTF’s coverage on Welsh, including a review of her 2015 debut album ‘Soft Control’, follow this link.

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