Kayla Kavanagh - Stranger Than Fiction

Published Tuesday 18th October 2011
Kayla Kavanagh - Stranger Than Fiction
Kayla Kavanagh - Stranger Than Fiction

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 109135-17911
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by David Faulkner

This is one of the most extraordinary and powerful CDs I have heard in a long time. Irish-born, now Yorkshire-based, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (nine instruments, if you're counting) Kayla Kavanagh has constructed a powerful debut album influenced by the fact that she suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder. This condition afflicts two per cent of the UK population, and one tenth of sufferers commit suicide. Kavanagh writes and sings about love, about the coalescence of fear and prayer, even quoting George Matheson's classic hymn for the grieving, "O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go" in one song. As someone who has pastored people with BPD, I found her artistic approach illuminating. Kavanagh has more depth and more hooks than any of the shallow X Factor gruel so often punped out by our mass media. The music on 'Stranger Than Fiction' itself varies from piano ballads to energetic pop with Kayla integrating styles that are more organic than Goldfrapp but more electronic than Sarah McLachlan. The one problem I had was with those tracks where the multi-tracked vocals had too much electronic processing for my liking, when I thought that rawer, more natural sounds would have been more powerful. But overall, this isn't simply a worthy release: it's stunning.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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