New faces and voices tonight. This one comes by way of Spain – Nuria Graham is Irish/Catalonian and 22. Having released her first record in 2013, at the tender age of 16, and her debut LP Bird Eyes two years later, Does It Ring A Bell suggests a growing maturity as she opens with the line “it’s time to grow up, girl.” What follows, pieces together fragments of her life to date, delivered in her distinctive hushed tone and underpinned by a rich musical soundscape that results in her strongest record to date.
Half Irish, half Catalan, Graham’s music draws comparison with the atmosphere of Mac Demarco and the honest storytelling of Laura Marling, as demonstrated on the good time tales of ‘Cloud Fifteen’. However, those feel-good moments where “it never gets late” and the days have no end” are tinged with a deeper sense of self-reflection as she observes “I’m afraid…here comes my temper.” Tracks such as ‘Sinner’ continue this theme as Does It Ring A Bell reveals a level of self-awareness and stark honesty that may not be expected of a person in their early twenties.
In an interview she did for Indiespot in Spain in 2015, she describes her reaction from being considered Folk:
Nuria: “I do not define myself as a folk artist. And I do not know what it is. I know artists who can be classified as folk, but I have never considered myself as such. Sometimes they have put it somewhere: folk or folk rock; but these labels are very rare for me. Because at no time when I’m writing I think I’m going to do a super folk song or something like that. What’s more, now I’m focused on the electric guitar looking for other sounds, but I do not see the folk thing anywhere.”
Certainly a talent to keep an eye on. She has an extensive touring schedule of summer festivals this year, primarily in Spain, but I suspect a few forays into overseas markets may be on the horizon soon.
Crank it up and have a listen.