It’s taken a while for Helene Greenwood to release her first EP. Her music career began as a contemporary composer studying at The Royal Academy before the birth of her daughter eight years ago set her on the road of writing and singing her own songs. The only criticism you can direct at her on the evidence of her first EP is “What took her so long?”.
To put it plainly, Greenwood is blessed with a lovely voice; one that speaks of English innocence in the same way as The Sunday’s Harriet Wheeler or Rose Elinor Dougall. ‘Break In’ resembles a sedate dinner party number until the song explodes into a heart-bursting chorus. For The Cure’s ‘In Between Days’ she strips down the angst of the original to a new level of vulnerability but the flowing piano and relentless percussion ensure that the loneliness of the song is offset by musical joy. ‘In The Sunshine’ is a beautiful and tender ballad accompanied by the minimum of instrumentation whereas the darkest moment, ‘After The Fire’, is lit up by dramatic flourishes. This just leaves ‘Fools Rush In’ where Greenwood and her band once again show their telepathic understanding for subtlety on another respectful cover version.
‘The Break EP’ is a collection of music which makes you glad that people still care about the simplicity of songwriting. Rather like The Mummers, the songs here sound magical in their purity and love of melody and just like that band – even though the star is undoubtedly the frontwoman – her experienced band mates know how to make a song special too and never threaten to drown Greenwood in their perfectly-judged layers of sound.
The Sundays, The Mummers, Rose Elinor Dougall, A Girl Called Eddy