Laura Fell – Bone of Contention (Balloon Machine)

Laura Fell – Bone of Contention (Balloon Machine)

Laura Fell releases first single Bone of Contention from forthcoming debut album Safe From Me on music-journal-turned-label Balloon Machine.

Laura FellArtist: Laura Fell
Track: Bone of Contention
Label: Balloon Machine
Released: 26 August 2020
Find it: Spotify | Bandcamp

Anger is loud. It spits, it snarls, it howls discordantly and primally. It is a violence of sound, a furious resonance which prickles your skin and makes your blood run hot. Infectious, instinctual, and did we mention loud?

Typically, anyway, in music. On debut single Bone of Contention Laura Fell takes a different approach on a song which has anger at its heart. Controlled and carefully refined the song picks apart the emotion, without being an overtly or obviously angry piece.

With acoustic guitar as a foundation, the notes bend subtly from where you think they should naturally sit. There is the merest grate to the bass notes, a teasing exclusion to the strings. The underlying emotion seeps through in those bends, in the measured lyrical reflection. Anyone who has lived with anger will know the cracks in the containment are just as powerful as the explosive outburst and it’s those fractures which are surgically widened here.

It’s a track made rich through other instrumentation, and that voice. Oh, that voice. With the resonance of Aldous Harding or Alison Moyet, Fell brings warmth and depth, emoting with honesty and beauty what could lyrically tilt toward cooly analytical at times. For a debut the detail of the track is somewhat astonishing, and leads with dark curiosity toward what the rest of the album may bring.

‘And I’ll ask you to spare me / Your bullshit about being betrayed / And to give you the benefit of the doubt / I’ll assume that you lie when afraid’

Talking about the track Fell said, “Bone of Contention is an exercise in anger, really. I’ve always struggled to feel anger without also feeling out of control, and, therefore, disempowered. This song is about allowing myself to sit with my anger, and ending up finding clarity and power within it.”

A psychotherapist by day, Fell’s dedication to this journey of self-discovery was unquestionable from the off, so much so that her peers questioned her sanity. Holding down three jobs to fund debut record Safe From Me, Fell was determined that the songs would go far beyond their acoustic guitar genesis, assembling classically trained musicians and their flugelhorns, cellos, saxophones and double bass to fully realise her vision. The album is a search for answers from a woman always expected to have them to hand, and the self-punishing frustration that assumption brings.

Bone of Contention is the first track to be released from forthcoming album Safe From Me, due out digitally on 20 November through the new imprint from music-journal-turned-label Balloon Machine.

Find Laura Fell: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Spotify

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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