Of all the ukulele artists whose review is long long long overdue it’s The Mersey Belles for Danielle Laura Perkins (Nancy) and Lindsey Stainthorpe (Pearl) are a duo who have been wooing audiences for five glorious years now with their retro style, sensational harmonies and ukulele arrangements. As a live act then their reputation gracefully precedes this review but what of their EP? Here’s a quick spoiler… it’s fab!
The self titled CD offers three and half original songs, a splash of Adele and a sneaky and unexpected cover at the end. Intriguing!
The first song, Hurry Back To Me, leads us straight into that characteristic dual vocal with atop a sweet strum with some terrific chord progressions and the most delightful rising “ooh” you could ever wish to hear. This takes us to a ghostly picked intro and effective strum and percussive tap in Pass You By/Hello the latter suggesting and indeed delivering the Adele hit into their original song (that’s the “half” you see!) with blisteringly brilliant vocals.
The next two songs are both again original compensations. Melt Away has a pop edge to it, a potential single if I ever heard one, yet with a enticing hint of sadness with its left turn of a minor cadence. I Said Ooh follows which has a Spanish lilt to the strum and an uplifting chorus and counterpoint vocal.
The final track then, Say Something, is by American Indie poppers A Great Big World. Given the vintage vibe of The Mersey Belles this is perhaps a surprising choice, one suspects a nod to a band they admire. Given the delicate Mersey Belles treatment of a beautiful arrangement with spine tingling vocal harmonies the song fits them like a proverbial Indie Kid glove.
The Mersey Belles have a wonderfully unique style and are masters in the art of vocal harmony so relax, listen and let the goose bumps prickle for there is some marvellous contemporary song writing supporting that wonderful trademark sound.