Where does a psychotherapist turn when they themselves are struggling to find the answers? For Laura Fell, the resolution came in the form of music. Not content with her day job, the London-based artist has taken the leap from armchair to stage. Marking the first release for independent label ‘Balloon Machine’, Fell’s debut track ‘Bone of Contention’ is the lead single from the singer-songwriter’s upcoming album Safe From Me (20th November).
Like those chez-lounge therapeutical discussions, the track’s meaning reveals itself in layers. Lie back, and the breezy, acoustic guitar-led rhythm is not dissimilar from a chilled-out love song. Dive deeper, and what once appeared sultry becomes confrontational and acerbic. This is no love letter, but an accusation. True to her original profession, Fell digs deep into the accused, demanding rather than asking “when people make you important / does that settle some score?” The track’s depth of examination is supported by its musical arrangements. It would be easy to skim the surface with only an acoustic guitar and Fell’s dusky vocals, but there is a real strength provided by the orchestral strings which lurk in the background.
It’s no small risk quitting a reputable profession to pursue musical aspirations, but it’s clear from this first offering that Fell doesn’t do things by halves. Besides, when you realise that Fell wrote and performed poetry for some time before turning her hands to music, it’s no surprise that her wordplay is so smart. Still, there is much yet to be unearthed about the singer-songwriter. Obvious from her first release, however, is that you don’t want to get on her bad side.
Words by Adam Goldsmith
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