If you live in Devon, chances are you’ll know about young singer-songwriter, Kiera Osment. And if you know Kiera, you know about her phenomenal voice. A soulful vocalist with talents that stretch from piano to cello (and beyond), Kiera has won the praise of many. Her music took her to the Glastonbury Emerging Talent long list in 2013, and she won best vocalist at the London Song Academy’s Song Competition. Classically trained, Kiera is known for her sophisticated style, and the soaring atmospherics of her songs.
Now, Kiera has released her debut album, ‘Car Park of Dead Dreams’. The album meditates on the darker side of life, with a bittersweet, melancholic allure. ‘Paper Hats’ is the opening track; an upbeat melody with gorgeous harmonies, in stark contrast to the lyrics: “Put your bulletproof paper bag/On your head with your trademark fountain pen grin.” It’s followed by ‘Playground’, a slower, haunting piece with a heavy dramatic element.
‘Same Difference’ shows the transformation of Kiera’s playing. With a light R&B background, the intimate, near-whispered vocals dive into powerful, operatic harmonising, reminiscent of Florence and the Machine. Bringing it back down is ‘Doll’s House’, with Kiera’s signature piano, huskier vocals showing her range. She plays with emotions, switching quickly between minor and major keys. Kiera sings her eloquent words, “Painted faces and mannequins/Tiny tables and match-stick sins/Paper shoes and thread-bare desires/She’s dancing to the tune of your lyre.”
Throwing us into a sci-fi world is ‘Atlas 101’ – an ethereal, synth-soaked track. Eerie with its gentle melody, Kiera sings about being an alien, and an “apocalyptic loneliness” – all wonderfully captured in her beats. More traditional is ‘Stage’ – a song with a cabaret scent, full of a mysterious kind of blues. The album finishes with ‘Forsaken’, again going back to the piano – an elegant finishing point, and a call to action (“Life is meaningless/Unless you try to help all those who cry.”)
What does Kiera say of her album? “There always seemed to be a reason to wait, to get better and develop before bombarding people with my songs. That was silly. I don’t want to look back in 10 years and have nothing physical to show for my music, from this space of time; this state of mind. Finally, I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind.”
And how glad I am that she did.
Review by Nickie Shobeiry