(4 / 5)
This illustrious magazine has been tipping UK singer and songwriter Claire Littley from day one of her recording career. No need for us to stop now, with the release of her impressive debut EP “Nightfall”.
If soulful, unashamedly retro ’80s vibes with an uber-subtle underlying jazz current are for you, then so is Ms. Littley and this five-track delight.
Since starting to write original songs for the first time in September 2020, Claire has released seven singles in less than 18 months – writing, performing and producing/mixing/mastering all of her own tracks.
Although Claire was singing covers a while back, she had never written her own songs. Music was put on a long pause following the sudden loss of her partner in a tragic accident, which saw Claire withdraw from music for many years.
Some may recognise Claire as the voice behind the performance of “Fly Me To The Moon”, featured on “Neon Genesis Evangelion”; the hugely successful Japanese anime. Her version is an iconic rendering of a classic song which has been streamed hundreds of millions of times across the internet.
London-based artist Claire penned five new songs for her EP, which she feels are, “more mature, I think – bringing together everything I’ve learnt the past year writing and production-wise – all those YouTube video tutorials at breakfast are paying off!”
“Nightfall” was released at the end of January 2023. Opening track “Quietly” – my favourite here – offers up a sultry and breathy vocal, with late night jazz vibes.
Claire aiming to capture the kind of ambience and tension one feels late in the night, waiting for a lover and craving to be close to them… I cannot do late nights at my age; give me a mug of Horlicks and memory foam pillow these days!
Mid-tempo cut “Couldn’t Walk Away” sits on a funky bass line and crisp snare on the drums – played across these tracks by Gail James, former musical director and drummer for Yazz. She adds much value to this EP project.
Three tracks in, “Night Was Falling” delivers another soulful vocal on a ditty summing up the beauty of falling in love and feeling like you are under a spell. “I Don’t Like The Rain” and “Step Into The Night” complete the quintet of tracks. Love and loss are intertwined in track four, while finding new love again is examined in the closing cut.
For me, Claire has that silky soul flavour and very similar vocal timbre to the wonderful Lisa Stansfield. But Claire is her own woman as an artist, and after a dalliance with pop, dance and other genres, methinks she has found her own sound with this enjoyable mini collection.
So, Claire, please hurry up and pen another bunch of songs for your debut album. Ready and waiting this end…Horlicks and pillow at the ready!!!
Words by Anthony Christopher
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’