Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
For many, the idea of loss of any kind is too much to openly show, a hangover from the Victorian era, a residue of the lamentable act of being stoic, of not showing your true self or worth to the world. Loss is hard, not being able to grieve properly is worse, an almost despicable act forced upon society at large by a system that wanted nothing more than the idea of grieving to be shown as weak and destructible to civilisation; a hangover from an era that saw the phrase of the British stiff upper lip appallingly coined and many a generation living in the shadow of the Waiting.
It was always waiting for the moment to pass, the insufferable act that dictated when it was O.K. to shed a tear in private that makes such outpourings in others seem beautiful; a beauty captured with kindness by Bella McKendree in her debut E.P. Waiting.
The four track E.P. combines a sensual piano laden with aural gifts with sensitively driven lyrics; it is the same type of sensation that comes naturally to the musical greats such as Tori Amos. It digs a hole through the body and settles on the heart, tingling away as though the wires are attached to a small incendiary device, ready to wake up the soul and connect with one of the truths and meanings of life, to show emotion, to feel, to know that what you see is true and powerful.
As Ms. McKendree shows wonderfully in the song Grieve, to open yourself up and allow the light to bleed inwards, what is evaporated is the darkness, it is slowly eaten away by the ability to recognise that any art can bring hope to the situation and one that requires only the memory of love to sustain it.
Alongside Grieve, the tracks Don’t You Wanna Be Loved, Waiting and Baby Let’s Fall all have the element of escape, of reasoning with the past and accepting that life has its own shadow to which one must make every reasonable attempt to disavow, to prove we are not hindered by the disadvantage of not being able to show emotion.
Ms. McKendree’s offering is an enlightening and appealing debut E.P., very much worth Waiting for.
Bella McKendree’s Waiting is released by Trellis Records on August 18th.
Ian D. Hall