Big thanks to Keith Appleby who spotted this review of ‘Breathe’ in R2 Magazine;
Familiar as one-sixth of The Shee, Breathe sees singer and mandolin player Laura-Beth Salter following her own path, with a small supporting group, on a delicate set of American-inflected acoustic tracks.
Adding fiddle, bass and guitars, the album is nonetheless sparse in its arrangements, the material being given room to – yes – breathe. Even without The Shee’s harmonies, Salter’s unadorned vocal is strong enough to carry these largely narrative songs. Indeed, comparison of “Our Bottle/The Waiting Waltz” to the band’s version shows the track in a new light, but by no means diminished.
Mostly dark in lyrical tone, the album paradoxicaly manages to be uplifting, mainly through Salter’s sprightly playing. This is particularly showcased on instrumentals ‘Watching the Hive’ and ‘Shine,’ the latter of which is also notable for Nathon Jones’ tasty Dobro licks.
The overall resounding impact, though, is of a fine singer and songwriter. The insistent ‘The Devil & I/Flatlands’ is an outstanding performance, broodingly jogging relentlessly on in a manner reminiscent of Show of Hands’ ‘Widecombe Fair.’ Closing with a spirited cover of Dylan’s ‘Meet me in the Morning,’this is an assured and rewarding solo debut.
(by Oz Hardwick in the September 2013 issue of R2 magazine).