Arranged and produced by Mara, with additional production and mixing magic from her old buddies Plaid, the album is equal parts sinister and serene. The haunting opener, "Saw Song", demonstrates Mara's saw playing skills and swooping vocal range. "I Blame You Not", a loose arrangement of a piece of Schumann, has the feel of a jazz standard. "Bonding" and "Bravely Born(e)" are both awash with sweet forties-style harmonies. Conventional instruments such as piano and guitar appear alongside more unusual ones: ukuleles strum their way through quirky fairytale "Baby Bloodheart" and an mbira (African thumb piano) provides the pulse for the uplifting album closer "For Me". 'The Lovely' is an assured debut by one of the most talented and original singer/songwriters to emerge in recent memory; a collection of dark tales sung with a smile that will stand the test of time.
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