THIS WEEK I’M LISTENING TO...IVY GOLD Broken Silence (Golden Ivy Records)
It’s really hard to comprehend why Ivy Gold aren’t much better known. They’ve only been around for a short time, true, opening their account with ‘Six Dusty Winds’ in 2021 and following it with the self-explanatory ‘Live At The Jovel’ last year. But their hard-edged blues could easily be the work of a band with twice their age and output, a point well made with ‘Broken Silence’. Good as ‘Six Dusty Winds’ is, their second studio outing is even better as the band – frontwoman Manou, guitarist Sebastian Eder, keyboard player Anders Olinder, bassist Kevin Moore and drummer Tal Bergman – have become even more adventurous in their approach to songwriting and have stretched their horizons to encompass a broader range of material while still staying true to their core sound. The result is a diverse and intricate album, in turns soulful, bluesy and sassy, rounded out by a live rendition of ‘Old Love’, a song which hasn’t appeared on any previous release.
The two stars of the show here are, firstly, Manou, an enigmatic yet statuesque singer with a fabulous voice and the presence of a latter-day Janis Joplin. And, behind her, guitarist and band leader Sebastian Eder is a musician and songwriter of no mean talent, whose fluid playing and masterful style should, if there is any justice in the world, see him fêted for his undoubted talent in years to come: check out his work in ‘Broken Wings Of Hope’ and ‘Drifting’.
If there is a minor gripe with ‘Broken Silence’ it’s that Olinder doesn’t get much chance to shine as the keyboards tend to play no more than a backing function. To be fair, he dominates ‘Old Love’ and gets a few bars in the spotlight in the likes of ‘No Ordinary Woman’ and ‘Six Times Gone’, but the instrumental passage of this latter song cries out for some guitar/keyboards interplay. But hey, that’s just a minor – and probably strictly personal – grievance and not something to spoil what is in fact a truly great album.
'Broken Silence’ - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYLjT2ZpSBs
'Without You' [from ‘Live At The Jovel’] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJokhwiJ1I4
© John Tucker May 2023