CD Review: Young Runaway by Hattie Briggs

Young Runaway by Hattie Briggs

Young Runaway by Hattie Briggs - Credit: Archant

It takes a remarkable amount of talent to warrant abandoning a promising academic qualification at Oxford University and concentrating on a fledgling music career, but for Hattie Briggs the decision paid off in spades.

(Wise Dog Records)

It takes a remarkable amount of talent to warrant abandoning a promising academic qualification at Oxford University and concentrating on a fledgling music career, but for Hattie Briggs the decision paid off in spades.

Not only did she receive a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nomination following the success of her first EP, My Shepherd’s Hut, but her debut album Red & Gold picked up fantastic reviews when it was released last year. Then in January Hattie won the Laurel Canyon Music Awards for Best Debut Album and Best New Artist of 2015.

There’s a darkness to some of her work beyond the almost ethereal vocals, heavy orchestra tones bring a sombre touch to certain tracks, yet at the same time she seems capable of lifting the mood with songs like Digging to Australia, mixing the tone just when it’s required.


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With echoes of the Indigo Girls, Amy McDonald and even Tori Amos to be found among these compositions, it’s hard to believe this is only her second album after just over two years as a professional musician.

The arrangements are outstanding, and the depth to her lyrics suggests a life experience far beyond her youthful years. She draws on her decision to leave university and follow her dreams of a music career, touches on the people she has met since making that move, and explores the influence of fate on her life.

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Highlights are many, but my personal favourites would have to be the exquisite Life Me Up and optimistic Here’s To Hoping, but that said it’s difficult to pick and choose songs from an album pretty much devoid of filler material, and boasting some remarkable compositions.

Highly recommended.

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