To most of the world, Australia seems to put out a steady stream
of pop princesses, from Olivia Newton-John to present day Delta
Goodrem and Kylie Minogue, but Melbourne native Marisa
Yeaman is proof that Australia's female vocalists are more than
mere pop confections and fluff. Born in Echuca, a town in Australia's
outback, Marisa Yeaman exudes a rootsy folk-pop sound acquainted with
Mindy Smith, a sultry vocal register similar to Jamie O'Neal,
and an Americana/country western tincture reminiscent of Gene Watson
and Roseanne Cash. Her debut album Pure Motive dips
into alternative country ducts with laminas of smooth blues and newgrass
elements that show a deep attachment to folk music graft from classic
Produced by long time friend and musician Andrew Pendlebury,
Pure Motive is contemporary country with shards of classic
influences recalling Carol King and Bobbie Gentry. Accompanying
Yeaman, who plays acoustic guitar and accordion on the album, are
Dave Steel on dobra and harmonica, and Ed Bates on pedal
steel. The instrument series are melodic, fluid, and malleable as
Marisa's warm vocal timbres curl around the chord progressions. The
newgrass/country western melody of "Solid Ground" has a
toe tapping upbeat momentum while the brushed percussions and mellow
embers of the pedal steel on "Holy Water" are gently flumed
as Marisa's vocals sensually cuddle the movements with caressive strokes.
The Hammond organ on the intro of "Didn't Mean To Fall In Love"
is augmented with rootsy-pulsed percussions and acoustics purveying
an alt-country vibe.
The smooth blues-torch lit piano melody of "Lonely Puppet"
lutes a mournful sonorous as Marisa's vocals exhibit a Jane Monheit
emotive voicing, gleaming a soft, whispering warmth in the lyrics:
"Everything I had to give was never enough/ What was it unspoken/
What bird to hard to free/ You kept it all inside, the love you had
for me." The cushiony plush guitar ballad of "King Tide"
releases an acoustic folk-pop dew bathing Marisa's gentle vocals looming
a Courtney Jaye sensibility. The rootsy-folk cadences of "No
Fences," "Watching Fire Burn," and "Vacant Sign"
are reflective of John Prine, Rachel Proctor, and Josh
Kelley. These coffeehouse-stylized melodies are offset by the
acoustic honky-tonk amenities on "Nightskin" and "Little
Girl Lost." The gentle plunks of bongo induced beats on "Gasoline
And Fire" interlace the soothing acoustic strings and snuggling
vocals enshrining the melody with calming pulses.
Marisa Yeaman's full length debut album is a folk-pop Kasbah filled
with tinges of Americana, roots music, and bluesy amulets. She has
the warm vocal timbres of her predecessors without the pretension.
She has played music festivals throughout her native Australia as
well as around Europe, including Holland and Belgium. Previous to
her full length debut Pure Motive, she has released three
EP's and continues to tour in support of her album. While growing
up, she traveled a lot due to her parents always moving around, and
yet, in many ways, her journey has only just begun.
1. Watching Fire Burn
2. Holy Water
3. Vacant Sign
4. No Fences
5. Solid Ground
6. King Tide
7. Didn't Mean To Fall In Love
8. Lonely Puppet
9. Damned If You Love Me
11. Little Girl Lost
12. Another Day
13. Gasoline And Fire
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