The name’s Bond. Clara Bond. As much as I know this isn’t an original introduction for anyone with that surname, let alone this British singer/songwriter, it almost feels like an obligation to use it at least once in my writing “career”. I won’t stretch the 007 metaphor any further here (that really would be too much), other than to say that “Out of Towners”, unlike the MI6 agent’s drink, was positively stirred rather than shaken. It is a concoction of four tracks that leave a distinct pop taste in this country music fan’s mouth (or should that be ear…). It is a nice flavour that blends well with some catchy chorus lines and honest, heartfelt lyrics. Reminding me (at different points) of Taylor Swift, Adele and The Shires, there is a clear connection between the four songs, namely Bond’s personal relationships – both good and bad. Sung over some fantastic musical arrangements, this EP feels like the skeleton of a much bigger album. It would be great to flesh out the main theme that Bond explores so well in this lovely 15-minute piece. She manages to showcase a range of styles here – from the slowly beautiful “Flashbacks” to the mainstream chart-pop beats of “Love Can’t Stay” – and it would be great to hear more of her versatility. As I continue my journey into the UK country scene, it is great to hear the strength of its female artists. From those I’ve encountered so far, Clara Bond certainly seems to be up there with the best of them.
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