Swansea (Wales) artist, Catherine Elms, has a new single, Fire Song, just out and we’ve been taking several listens here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today.
Fire Song starts with gentle strings and piano. Some fantastic use of tremelo on the strings give the song a slightly mediaeval feel, or perhaps we were swayed by the superb photo shoot that accompanies this track. Either way, a beautiful, evocative start to the song.
Fire Song develops well and by the second verse, we’re treated to some distant feeling drums. The whole track starts to take on a slightly cinematic feel by this point with a particularly dramatic build at around 2 minutes 16 seconds.
Fire Song builds and builds with some wonderful layered instrumentation until dropping back to just single piano notes at the end. At almost 5 minutes long, this is likely to grab the attention of local and internet radio stations more than commercial stations (they can be so picky about lengths!). For us though, this feels like a song which would work well placed in a movie.
Catherine’s vocals are warm and smooth. There’s some wonderful techniques within this song. You can’t help but draw similarities to Tori Amos in the quieter, more gentle passages, but when she gives some real power in the later passages, we were reminded of Alanis Morissette. That raw emotion, pain and anguish is evident at these points, and this is a really passionate performance from Elms.
With conversational lyrics that read a little like you’re taking a sneak peak at her diary, Fire Song captivates the essence of someone who is done with mediocrity and is more than ready to reach for the stars.
From a production perspective, and of course just our own, we felt that this track had just a little too much information in the middle frequencies, leading to a slightly “honky” feel in places in an otherwise stunning piece of work. We’d suggest a boost at 60Hz to give some extra power to the kick drum, a boost around 250-300Hz to add some warmth, we’d also suggest a boost of the top 3 octaves for a little more presence and zing in the vocals and the drums, but notching out around 8kHz to avoid over-boosting the sibilance.
Fire Song is Catherine Elms second single. It is a beautiful and evocative work of art with passionate and heartfelt emotions. We’re very excited to see where Elms’ career takes her next and will be watching closely for further news.