Made By Maid
Delta Maid – Outside Looking In (Geffen/Future Records)
May 9, 2011
Dear readers, naturally you will agree that any comparisons to the great Stevie Nicks require the utmost scrutiny, and Liverpool’s Delta Maid passes the test to an extent. Obviously, she has a long way to go to be within touching distance of the inimitable Fleetwood Mac vocalist, but the bittersweet edge to her voice throughout this record shows that there is some similarity there.
Sounding more like she hails from the West Coast of the USA than of the UK, Delta's debut longplayer Outside Looking In is a convincing if not exactly groundbreaking collection of country-tinged tunes. It straddles a line between mainstream country and dreamy 50s pop in terms of its influences. The former is represented by the radio-friendly ‘Spend A Little Time’, a song which you could imagine teasing Radio 2’s playlists with ease. Its blues-tinged, piano-led successor, ‘Running On Empty’, is more reflective but ticks all the same musical boxes.
The title track harks to the latter genre, its warbling bassline and lazy compound time melody drawing you in at the expense of any awareness of your surroundings. The mournful When Love Grows Cold owes much more to modern day balladry, its minimalist instrumentation bringing Delta’s vocal to the fore.
The flashes of melody on this record prevent it from being ordinary. There’s some nice flourishes of picked acoustic guitar on ‘All I Dreamed’, and Delta’s staccato vocal rhythm combined with bluesy piano on recent single ‘On My Own’ go down a treat. All in all, it’s a good starting point – and if she continues along the same path then she shouldn’t have cause to go back and complete her postgraduate degree in vascular science any time soon.
words: Kate Goodacre
Delta Maid plays The Basement, York (May 18) and the Bombed Out Church, Liverpool (19, Liverpool Sound City). She will also perform at Evolution Weekender, Newcastle (29), Wychwood festival (June 5), Larmer Tree Festival (July 14) and Summer Sundae (Aug 14), in addition to dates supporting The Pierces and Bryan Ferry.