Elaine Palmer – Half Moon Rising (2024) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Elaine Palmer – Half Moon Rising (2024)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 29:31 minutes | 296 MB | Genre: Alt. Country, Folk, Singer-Songwriter, Female Vocal
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Butterfly Effect

For her fourth album, Half Moon Rising, the North Yorkshire-born country singer-songwriter headed to San Diego for an eight day session, mostly recorded live, the magic evident from the get go with balladeering soaring opening track ‘Heart and Soul’, a straightforward supportive love song (“I’ve danced with your demons/Now I live with all these feelings/Only I can ever save you”), leading into the pedal steel keening ‘A Love Like That’, another ballad reflecting on a love of similar devotion (“My old friend where have you been/Still out there searching for someone/What I’d give for a love like that… My dreams have been and passed/Through the eyes of my child I live now”). In contrast, ‘So Long’ with its pizzicato rhythm reflects on things lost (“There are things hard to make that can be broken with ease/But if there are too many fractures then we never go back into one piece/Just for a moment I had the whole world at my feet/With the wind in my sails I would ride upon the waves wild and free…But it was so long ago”).

Conjuring a Gretchen Peters gothic mood, the slow chugging bluesy ‘Freeborough Hill’ nods to her Yorkshire roots, the title referring to the dome shaped mound on Moorsholm moor, a prominent geographical feature that has attracted all manner of myths and legends as to its origin and purpose, not to mention treasure hunters, the lyrics evoking an equally mysterious backdrop (“Black and blue my hands are tied/Two by two we wait in line/Judged only by a man of cloth/Who has never had to endure things that I have …Two years in and two years out/You soon learn how to shut your mouth/My back is strong like any man/But the will I had for this life is long gone”) and the weight of its refrain (“Promised you one day I would take you to Freeborough Hill/And we would run out in the fields there before the sun sets in/I swear to God I said those words out loud every night/But sweet child you were not made for this life”).

Originally a single back in 2022, ‘Let Me Fall’ is revisited here, a metronomic rhythm song about becoming immersed in the music others make (“I sway to the hum of your voice/The music plays and then I get no choice…I want to climb into your beautiful mind/And dance there with the darkness inside”), pedal steel colouring the mythical imagery of the self-reflective ‘Not Lost’ (“I lived for too many years upon this Earth/

I can’t remember the sound of my own heart…I used to reign over this entire land/I was a king of an empire once/As strong as 10,000 men/But every Titan must fall in the end”) with its thoughts of mortality (“Lower my body into the Earth/Throw the dust to the wind and the sun/Remember me for who I once was/And not the shadow that I have become”).

A similar train of thought rides through the gradually building, steel-stained country ache ‘On The Way Up’ (“Youth is wasted on the young/Wisdom lies with the old/So don’t get fooled by the sun… Every Summer comes to an end/And I’m like a bird that cannot fly/Waiting only for the winds/To take me back into the sky”), though the downbeat “There is a loneliness that stays with me/Like a shadow that you can’t see” is offset by “I swear there will come a time/Upon these wings I will fly”.

Half Moon Rising ends with the strings caressed, dappled waltzing sway of ‘The Last Dance’ with its reverie of getting lost in music “When I sing/I close my eyes/I can almost stop the time”) and the rather lovely and inspirational line “I was made from fire and rain/So I can leave rainbows in my wake”. There’s definitely gold at the end of hers.

01. Elaine Palmer – Heart and Soul (03:13)
02. Elaine Palmer – A Love Like That (03:36)
03. Elaine Palmer – So Long (03:56)
04. Elaine Palmer – Freebrough Hill (04:48)
05. Elaine Palmer – Let Me Fall (Revisited) (03:41)
06. Elaine Palmer – Not Lost (03:21)
07. Elaine Palmer – On the Way Up (03:55)
08. Elaine Palmer – The Last Dance (02:58)


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