A trip to Italy inspired the songs on Fay Hallam’s new album, Corona. Upon her return, she was bursting with ideas and wrote all of the songs in just two days. A melting pot of influences helped create this eclectic album from Antonio Carlos Jobim and Astrud Gilberto to Beck via The Carpenters and Frankie Laine. There’s even a cover of Paul McCartney’s classic Maybe I’m Amazed.
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Well this is nice. Fay Hallam went to Italy and realised that it was so much better than her native Wolverhampton. When she got back to the grind she penned this album is quick whirlwind sessions.
Opener ‘Se Mi Ami’ is absolutely mind slaveringly gorgeous. It slinks along on a haze of vibraphone, woody double bass and eerie strings. This soft flan of a song provides a bedrock for her sultry vocals. I’m thinking Astrud Gilberto, I’m thinking Nouvelle Vague, I’m thinking that this is probably the best moment on the LP. The following two tracks are upbeat sunshine pop and her voice strains on it’s leash - it sounds much less convincing although ‘Arco’ is returns to the Brasil 66 sound with lashings of flute and lyrics like “the wine is chilling” - a phrase Bernard Sumner could probably relate to (though I’m sure he just gulps it straight out of the bottle as soon as he gets back from Aldi).
To me the album works better on its heat hazed slower moments. A lot of it is a bit too ‘acid jazz’ for me but it’s very authentically done.
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