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Published On: Thu, Sep 18th, 2014

Luke Sital-Singh: The Fire Inside

Luke Sital-Singh The Fire InsideLuke Sital-Singh
The Fire Inside
(Parlophone Records)

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Folk music by singer/songwriters often centers on acoustic guitar or piano, but British musician Luke Sital-Singh’s finest instrument is his voice. While he sounds a bit like Neil Young, the truly captivating quality of his voice is his delivery, which easily switches from calm and melodic to a shout that teeters just on the right side of in-control. This intensity elevates The Fire Inside above the pack and makes Sital-Singh stand out as a talent.

“Nothing Stays the Same” is a clever choice for an opening track with lyrics like “cry your eyes out/Fill your lungs up/We all hurt/We all lie/And nothing stays the same.” It’s easy to identify with the frustration and enthusiasm within Sital-Singh’s lyrics. Shades of ‘80s rock complement “Greatest Lovers,” in which Sital-Singh fantasizes about embarking upon a perfect relationship.

The Fire Inside is certainly an apt title for this record since the imagery comes up repeatedly. For instance, the delicate acoustic track “Bottled Up Tight” describes his passion as guiding him like a flame. “I Have Been a Fire” makes the metaphor even more personal, with the unnamed lover depicted as a flower, then water that drowns and washes away. On this track in particular, Damien Rice’s influence shines through with Sital-Singh’s delivery. Though lyrics are repeated, the build of anger and then the strain of defeat bring to mind Rice’s song “Elephant.”

Luke Sital-Singh’s debut LP is a powerful listen even if you discount the lyrics. The sound of each song is enough to stab at the heart, which is an element often lacking in recent music. I find myself already looking forward to his next album and material that does not overlap with his promising early EPs.

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Luke Sital-Singh: The Fire Inside