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Review: 'I AM HER'

-  Label: 'Driver Sounds'
-  Genre: 'Indie' -  Release Date: '29th June 2018'

Our Rating:
Julie Riley takes her stage name in part from the initials of her three daughters: Hope, Elkie and Ruby. This reflects the fact that child rearing has played a more central role in her life over the past two decades than music making.

Riley says "I am what I am now as a result of making these fine young women. I am HER". Pre-parenthood, in the 1990s, she was part of the London-based Indie band 'Rosa Mota'.

As a solo artist, her songs are stripped down and minimal, mainly just voice and guitar with low key drum backing from Jeff Townsin and occasional piano from Evie Wakefield. The album was recorded in St Leonard's, East Sussex, a place she likes for its faded grandeur and coastal location.

Motherhood is the topic of three tracks: Blue, Moving On and Little Girl but whether singing of "burning and hurting" on Camel or foregrounding love over religion on Heretic, these songs are a long way from being superficial endorsements of family values.

Above all, the feisty edge and brooding atmosphere reflects Riley's post-punk influences. It successfully charts the personal reflections of a woman striking out to make her own history.

Herstory at Bandcamp
  author: Martin Raybould

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I AM HER - Herstory