I’ve always been a sucker for a girl and her guitar. Amy Firth is one of the most talented acoustic guitar singer songwriters I’ve heard in a long time. Her endearing accent just makes her seem all the more interesting. The combination of gorgeous guitar playing and precise vocals makes for a delightful album. I present Watchmaker’s Daughter with a high recommendation.
The first song, “Hope and Time and Love” is about a former lover and a his new girl. It’s got the sweetest kind of bitterness, all wrapped in a beautiful melody. The combination of finger picking and powerful strumming gives the song a unique sound. The repeated lyric “hope and time and love” brings together the promises of relationships. Her eloquent “you said to me you’d hold me like the sea and love would set us free” shows her brokenheartedness in tragic, yet pointed ways.
The hand claps and finger picking on “All the Blues” get the listener’s toe tapping from the start. This track has an incredible vocal layering technique that really requires headphones to feel completely. Oftentimes I get frustrated with production and recording “tricks” with someone as talented as Firth, but it really works on this track. It makes the listener feel like he or she is standing in the middle of multiple vocalists singing in inspiring harmonies. The lyrics are simply about pretty blue eyes, “your eyes hold all the blues from the seas and the skies.” What a concept!
“New Heart” is more of the standard storyteller singer songwriter type. Strumming chords laying a base for her crystal clear vocals, Firth weaves a tale of emerging love. “Saw You Coming” is another story of romance, but with a decidedly different tone. More romantic, a bit stripped down, the song has an emotional quality to it. It sounds like something that could have been on the Bridget Jones soundtrack. Oddly, I don’t hold that against it.
The concluding track “Wonderland” has a whimsy to it that I really enjoy. It’s both earthy and grounded, while also feeling transcendent. It reflects an authentic quality of older blues artists, but does so with the delightfully crisp Firth vocals that make the whole album so good. Talking about connection and feelings, it’s the kind of song that a lot of people can relate to due to its accessibility. “Together… you and me… wonderland.” Anyone who has felt the promise of a new relationship will be able to connect with this one. It’s also got a beat that would be great to slow dance to. It’s not slow, but it drips of sweet romance.
All told, this album is one that many fans of acoustic folk music will enjoy. Firth’s vocals are going to be popular among fans of Natalie Imbruglia especially. Fans of female singer songwriters should definitely give this young lady’s work a spin.