Rachael Dunn’s EP opens up with an urgent acoustic guitar beat and a mournful cello. It’s beautiful.
But, Placing Stars (the title track in question), soon moves into double tracked chorus vocals and a high harmony that takes the song on a left turn. A bit like the songwriter herself.
The middle of the road can call far too easy for many an acoustic troubadour. But Dunn, a veteran of the local scene these days, is better than that. The violin part that lifts Placing Stars proves that – as does the moody vocal of Falling Down, again underpinned with strings and whooshes, alongside that ever present heartbeat of an insistent acoustic guitar.
Summer Sunlight closes the release with a brighter melody and a tune that would sit proudly on, say, a Kathryn Williams record. The vocals remain delicate, yet bruised, while a dash of percussion brings a lightness of touch to the proceedings.
“I fly just like a bird, through the blue skies of your world,” sings Dunn, sounding not unlike Madonna at the end of the ‘80s! It’s true – beneath that stripped back sounds of acoustic guitar and strings, beats a pop heart.