Album review: Carrie Tree – The Canoe

It might be the case that Carrie Tree hails from Brighton but her music is undeniably global in its scale. Having travelled the world extensively, even recording her second album in South Africa, Tree has contributed to a variety of charitable causes across the globe. With this much passion and such an overwhelming dedication it’s little wonder that she has such a stunning and emotionally charged brand of storytelling.

Her third feature album The Canoe is a refreshing and breath-taking collection of songs that flow through your heart as effortlessly as the blood that it pumps through your veins. What strikes you first and foremost as she first spreads her wings is her absolutely striking and mesmerising voice. Soft, gentle and yet so abundantly steeped in emotion she has a voice that cuts through you like a knife. Her vocals are powerful, emotive and seem to almost have a tremulous whisper that sits somewhere within that goes to create a truly impassioned series of melodies. One of the songs on The Canoe is simply titled Honey Soup and while this isn’t exclusively a comment on her own vocals, it is perhaps the most appropriate method of describing it. Sweet and soulful her voice is as soft and natural as the bees that go towards making her honey soup.

The Canoe is a soft album that gives light to the soft and earnest side of folk music. Opting for a reduced collection of accompaniments Tree performs almost entirely with just a guitar or piano, sometimes both. If she is feeling particularly decadent then you can sometimes find songs where the odd violin melody breaks through or the deeper tones of a cello. The real heart of all her work however is the powerful act of storytelling that sits at the core of it all. Songs like Human Kindness are stark reminders of the good and the band in the world in which we live. Ever bold with her subjects, Tree tackles subjects like bigotry, asylum, hatred and refugees. These unpalatable topics are often shied away from not only in music but throughout the world and her determination and tender passion allows her to shine a light where others fear to even tread and has helped her to make an album that even the most solid of hearts would crack at.

Carrie Tree is an astoundingly talented young woman with the world on her mind and talent in her hands. Her undeniable sense of right and wrong and the love she has for the planet is all brought to life in one of the most charming and uncompromising albums in recent times.

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Review by Joe Knipe


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