Laura Meade - Remedium

(CD 2018, 47:00, Doone Records DR15-669563)

The tracks:
  1- Sunflowers At Chernobyl(8:18)
  2- Conquer The World(3:48)
  3- What I See From Here(2:53)
  4- Never Remember(3:57)
  5- The Old Chapel At Dusk(2:23)
  6- Dragons(11:09)
  7- Home Movies(2:35)
  8- Your Way(3:39)
  9- Every Step(3:00)
10- Irradiation(3:18)

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Website info: ​Laura Meade is a vocalist and songwriter whose background in musical theatre helps define her unique approach as a lyricist and musician. In 2007 she was diagnosed with MS and couldn't sing for a while. She decided not to take the conventional medicines but choose the road of herbal plants and healing, considered her new balance as a rebirth and went for a solo career (after many years with the band IZZ). Meade's debut studio album entitled Remedium combines her love of Art Rock with the emotion of musical theatre. In addition to being a vocalist for the American progressive rock band IZZ, her career includes performances around the world with many different artists and on a multitude of stages. She has toured with Jason Hart (Renaissance, Camel and I And Thou) and has been a part of the opening band for Rufus Wainwright, Keren Ann and at Marillion weekends (2007 and 2011). On her first solo album Meade is joined by fellow IZZ member and husband multi-instrumentalist John Galgano and other IZZ band members Paul Bremmer, Greg DiMiceli and Brian Coralian and guest musicians Randy McStine (The Fringe and Lo-Fi Resistance) on Sunflowers At Chernobyl and Jason Hart on Irradiation.

To be honest, I needed more time than usual (while listening to promo CDs) to get into Laura's beautifully crafted, very varied music. Most of the songs alternate between dreamy and mellow featuring Laura's gracefully meandering voice, from tender and fragile to melancholic, slightly theatrical and even opera-like (in Every Step), often in a higher range. She sings about her personal life (from relations to her MS), sometimes vulnerable and insecure, other times ironical or using metaphors, interesting to read. The 10 compositions are embellished with surprising musical ideas and breaks, and strong work on a variety of instruments.

A jazzy piano in Conquer The World.

Sensitive electric guitar runs in What I See From Here.

Playing high and low chords on the Grand piano, this creates a huge tension in this atmospheric instrumental The Old Chapel.

A beautiful acoustic guitar solo in Your Way.

And the use of the distinctive ukelele delivers a folky climate in Home Movies.

We can enjoy harder-edged guitar work and powerful drums that succeed to generate a lot of dynamics in Never Remember (from dreamy vocals to a fiery electric guitar solo) and the varied and compelling Dragons (bombastic and aggressive eruptions emphasizing the mental pain).

If you are up to Laura's distinctive voice and her adventurous and varied 'Art-rock' compositions, this is an interesting album to discover.

***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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