Talia Simone - Beauty Queen



Talia Simone, a singer-songwriter from South-west London, has been knocking around the south-east music scene for more years than she’d probably care to remember. During that time there’s been highs and lows, even for a time, a loss of inspiration, as she pondered was it really worth all the frustration, rejection and heartache. With her band the Wild Thorns, she’s now back in the game with a new enthusiasm, as she moves boldly away from the country twang of her previous work, into a funky, rockin’, almost r&b-styled soundscape. With guitars and vocals blazing, Talia and her band deliver a five-song set of stories of romantic entanglements, lost opportunities, and empowerment. She stuns with her ability to elevate any style she inhabits, as she glides smoothly from pop-rock to soulful ballads to roots-rock fusion.

Her sound is definitely American infused, especially on the plaintive Lost & Found. Opening with finely picked acoustic guitar and wafting steel, Talia’s almost whispered intro explodes neatly in this heartful, soul-inspired tune in the country lane. Dirty Water swirls wildly in eddying pools of steel guitar, twangy electric leads and pounding drums. A full-on ramble of dark southern Gothic rock, this brasher piece has the jaunty liberation of someone who just discovered that there is no need to give any damns at all.

Fool # 1 captures the rough and tender melancholy that makes Talia Simone so unique. A more straight-up country effort, showcasing the refined singer’s well-crafted songwriting skills; a tinkling piano runs alongside the classic guitar-steel accessories to emphasise clear-cut country roots. The title song is as deep and soulful as anything she’s ever recorded and, in itself, is worth the cost of the album. Her vocal builds immediate tension as the song develops, sliding between 1960s pop decadence and a kind of fever dream, with powerful backing from the muscular band. Closing with Burn It, this has an intimate vibe, before moving effortlessly into an enjoyable, light shuffling blues number meandering to the end of this all-too-short set that leaves this listener wanting more.

https://www.bandmix.co.uk › taliasimone

May 2024