"Christmas Brought You Here" by The RisingReview
A couple of thoughts occurred to me as I started this review. Firstly (and I am sure you've spotted this too), I can't remember ever experiencing so many seasonal releases by local artists before. Some are thinking about the Solstice, others are "end of year reflective" in nature and others the more traditional celebratory. I wonder why so many excellent artists have independently written about this time of year? Maybe a lot of them feel like giving the times we find ourselves in deep thought, maybe others feel an antidote to such times are needed & some clearly simply feeling that it's the right thing for them on their own journeys.
The other thought is that while I am continually going on about the very healthy state of local creativity right now, it is worth noting how at least one band has chosen to relocate to Coventry & Warwickshire: I trust that hitherto Belfast based The Rising have found our area conducive to their own career.
The band have certainly made an impression already, being BBC Introducing for Coventry & Warwickshire Artists of the Month earlier this year & they have been reviewed in "Hot Music Live" both for their live performances, their ‘Moving On' album & August's "Endless Summer" single.
Now Chantelle & Chris offer us "Christmas Brought You Here": the lead track on their new EP ‘This Special Time of Year'
Taking an initially darker route to the idea of Christmas celebration, the song ‘s premise is that not everyone has people around them at Christmas yet that need not necessarily result in a bad time as comfort can be found in various ways: to find out how, please check the song out for yourselves.
This more sombre & thoughtful perspective probably requires a more stripped back musical approach anyway in order to ring true: which is what they have decided upon. However I do refer you back to my previous reviews wherein I emphasised just how powerful the duo are live with just one guitar as instrumentation, regardless of the more complex arrangements found on their other releases. Of course when you have a resource within the band such as Chantelle's voice, that is the centre of any song & frankly the temptation must be to just provide instrumentation to provide a setting. On this occasion, she totally appropriately sings with beautiful restraint to tell the story plainly & effectively, yet even without deploying her full power, the tone & expression she possesses is superb & she is a really expressive interpreter of lyrics too.
Check out the excellent video too at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgVM1bsG0yA