Some smart mouthed guy once said, “There must be more to Airdrie than shoplifting from Poundland” and, as if to prove that God has a plan to make even that part of the world a better place, along comes Louise Connell and her album “Squall Echo Rale” to do just that. Louise Connell, of course, hails from Airdrie and I, as always, do so like to power my first pointless paragraph with a culturally valid segue.
This album would appear to be a three into one compilation of her last three EPs - all but one of these had slipped by my recalcitrant ears - which, as it turns out, was something of a loss to my ongoing quest for aural satisfaction. Not a complete loss, of course, as I have very demanding ears and Ms. Connell is nothing if not easy on the ear even if her musical style is straight down the line mainstream. It is undeniably to her credit that she has made the effort to do the job right and have proper string arrangements applied to the songs that represent her more introspective side yet it is her most overtly commercial songs that have the greatest staying power with “Rope” and “Viscous Fear”, in particular, standing out as candidates for radio playlists whilst still having more than enough lyrical meat on their bones to make for a satisfying musical snack.
Nineteen songs long, “Squall Echo Rale” covers a lot of ground for Louise Connell and, whilst always a pleasant listen, this is nonetheless an album that does sometimes lose focus. Mind you, I said that about Miranda Lambert’s “The Weight of These Wings” as well and she didn’t suffer too much from my verdict. I don’t imagine that Louise Connell will suffer too much either as, in truth, nothing here actually disappoints and many of the songs are deserving of a much wider audience. So, go on and give the girl a chance.
Best song? The obviously commercial “Rope”.
The verdict? Pleasantries for your ears.
Available from Bandcamp on CD and vinyl.