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Music Review

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Fiction, Half-Truths and Downright Lies


Artist: Polly and the Billets Doux
Bleakmouse Records
RRP: £12.99
5 060140 640813
Available 10 August 2009

Polly and the Billets Doux are a four-piece band that take their influences from Jazz greats like Billie Holiday and add a typically English twist to make it their own sound. They move between jazz, rock, folk, motown and not to mention soul.

Fiction, Half-Truths and Downright Lies is the bands debut album which is released by Bleakmouse Records.

The opener on this album is ‘Follow My Feet’; it has a great blues feel to it. It’s an upbeat track and the vocals from Polly Perry bring this tune alive. The guitars and drums are great, especially the slide guitar. What a great tune to open with.

The double bass intro in ‘To Be A Fighter’ grabs your attention and then enters the drum and guitar. This has a feel of country to it, which begins to feel a little repetitive and whiny. A little disappointing after a great start.

‘Charmed’ puts this album back on track with its jazz and blues feel. The beat has picked up and the sultry tones of Perry’s vocals add so much flavour to this song. The vocal harmonies work really well too. I can imagine sitting next to the sea listening to this, it has that holiday feel to it.

A little darker and more rock style is ‘The Cup And Lip’. It’s loud and vibrant with a good melody. Perry’s vocals, again, are outstanding.

‘I Would Ask’ is more chilled with great vocal harmonies. It’s very simple with a single acoustic guitar playing. Less is so much more, especially on this track.

Another country sounding song is found in ‘The Rounder’. It opens with the slide guitar and double bass, giving it that authentic country feel. The vocals yet again change to the style of the song. These guys really are a talented bunch.

‘Don’t Trouble Trouble’ is a mix between rock and country, with a fast paced beat and twangy guitar riffs.

Slow paced, sultry and soulful is ‘Lead Me On’. Perry is back with vocals that give this track a country edge. The guitar melody is slow and played with emotion.

Harmonicas are not my favourite instrument but actually it’s not too bad in ‘The City And The Sailor’. This is most definitely a country/folk sounding tune which isn’t my favourite genre of music but this band pull it off really well.

‘Back To Earth’ has a steady ‘plod’ like beat, which feels like it will go on forever. Just as I’m thinking what a shame to end on this note, it changes in a completely different direction. Fast paced and playful it kicks into action and all is forgiven.

This band have shown they are truly diverse, especially in Polly Perry’s vocals, she moves with ease from the sultry tones of jazz and blues to the hard and rough rock vocals right through to the country sounds.

A great listen and one I wouldn’t miss. This is more like the highlights of two or three albums mixed together. Fantastic.


Helena Rea

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