Saskia Griffiths-Moore asks Where Are We Heading on a subtle and classy acoustic set.
Release Date: 13th October 2021
Label: Music Without Measures
Format: CD / digital
The second of a transatlantic record deal with the Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation and recorded at Abbey Road which gives not only adds a frisson of excitement but also inspires the players to peak performances. the sleeve also finds the band photographed outside Abbey Hair salon in some unusual and possibly tongue in cheek synchronicity…
Where Are We Heading is an all acoustic outing but with additional guitar, bass and mandolin, the album proves the essential follow up to Are You Listening, one resigned to touring care homes during the pandemic. The fact that the songs are arranged for a lighter treatment with acoustic instruments in no way detracts from the quality of the writing or the care taken in resenting the material at its delicate best.
The set of original songs finds Saskia hitting the high notes at the top of her range, not for the first time, in the opening Picture House. If you prefer the warmer feel of her voice, head for Help where the general air of fragility and vulnerability, not surprising given the events of recent times, comes across most strongly yet with a gentle warmth. So Divine is an apt title for one of the tracks as it emphasises the presence of the angelic quality of the vocals.
Although the emphasis is on the less is more philosophy, Daniel Inzani’s piano makes fleeting appearances, adding texture and depth if not a jazzy feel to You And I. Dedicating You Picked me Up to Susanne Marcus Collins is a nice touch. A song that speaks of how “everybody sometimes needs a hand” and the acknowledgement of how role models and guardian angels guide our lives.
The live feel and delivery continues seamlessly into three extra tracks recorded in South Wales with a slight tweak in the line up, yet again, the piano (Kenyon Shankie this time) adds another warm glow. Air in particular is lyrically forthright amidst the sombre backing and there’s even a fool on the hill. While the title track may pose all manner of questions, ultimately there’s hope in the realisation that we’re “heralding the brilliance of a new direction.” Be bold, embrace change, live the solution. There’s always hope.
Here’s a recent live Where Are We Heading: