Former Touchstone vocalist Kim Seviour returns to the music scene with her incredibly personal debut solo album. A concept album of sorts, ‘Recovery Is Learning’ touches on her own (as well as other’s) struggle with mental illness and the realisation that whatever you are looking for is already inside yourself. With John Mitchell from Lonely Robot handling the lion’s share of the musical aspect of the writing, as well as the production, it freed Seviour to come up with the melodies and lyrics as well as delivering her trademark crystal clear vocals. Melodic progressive rock is the perfect vehicle for her vocals as the music is never overpowering and allows every impassioned plea to be heard. The perfect example would be the stunning closing track ‘Morning Of The Soul’, which features a short spoken word poem as the track builds to it’s climax. The driving, powerful drums are prominent, as are the subtle guitar fireworks, but they don’t suffocate Seviour’s heartfelt vocal, on what is ultimately an uplifting few minutes. The playing is top quality throughout. Opener ‘Chiasma’ has a fantastic instant intro, turning the guitars and drums up to maximum as they come spewing out of the speakers. It quickly settles into a quieter groove as Seviour pours her heart out, but the power is never too far away, as the guitars constantly creep in to make their presence felt. Likewise, ‘Call To Action’ has instant appeal as the drums come crashing in from the word go. A big, big drum sound on this beauty.
‘Connect’ has a gorgeous, whimsical keyboard intro that rattles around the skull for some time after, which leads into the pairing of ‘Faberge’ and ‘Mother Wisdom’, two stunning, slower-paced moments, that showcases Seviour’s incredible range. Her vocals are frail, passionate, and empowering all at the same time. Quite sublime, actually. ‘Where She Sleeps’ is perhaps the highlight of the album. A simple mix of vocals, piano, and a gorgeous string arrangement, it simply stops you in your tracks. The title track comes a close second, with it’s sheer epic scale. It’s the complete polar opposite of the stripped back ‘Where She Sleeps’, but equal in it’s effect on the listener.
‘Recovery Is Learning’ is a brave, thought-provoking album that is deserving of all the plaudits that it will surely bring Kim Seviour.
Available now through White Star Records, more information on the official Kim Seviour Facebook
Review – Dave Stott