From the mind and voice of an effortless artist, fans of experimentation and pop were gifted with the fantastical audio diary that is Elaine Howley’s The Distance Between Heart and Mouth. With tracks centred on reflection, self-discovery, and love, The Distance is a surround of futuristic, synthy chords set to eerie melodies with matching lyrics.
The sound motifs are particularly present on the album’s lead track, “Silent Talk,” an exploration of inner reckoning when faced with vulnerability. Howley cites folk singers as inspiration, namely Mary Black, the Irish legend after whom she named the album’s penultimate song, and it’s clear said inspiration comes in the form of thoughtful, sincere songwriting.
But Howley’s inspiration is also manifested in her sonic bravery. Just as she bares her soul throughout the album, Howley bares her innermost sounds – a unique concoction that’s simultaneously modern and primal, as evidenced in “Archeological Longing.” The Distance is particularly experimental in “See Saw Seen”, where Howley peppers lyrics over a beat, reminding us we don’t need to say much to share deep bits of ourselves.
The album is uniquely structured, too, almost as if she’s taking us closer and closer to her heart, finally reaching the organ in “To The Test,” a moody lamentation of a lost lover, then retracing her steps back to her mouth, ready to share what she’s discovered along her journey of self-reflection.
All sung with a silky voice, you’d be just as happy listening to a capella; the Distance Between Heart and Mouth is ushered out by “SoSo,” a percussive ballad reminding us that Howley’s gathered her thoughts and she’s ready to declare them in the coolest way possible. It’s Elaine Howley’s world; we’re just floating along with her.
The Distance Between Heart and Mouth is out now via Touch Sensitive – buy here.