At the end of Seven Rainbows lies a stack of solid gold hits in a certain contender for album of the year.
Afteryears of professional near-misses and personal upheaval, Alice Gold has honed her music into a polished collection of well-crafted gems, drawing on heartbreak, travelling and the trauma of losing her mother to potent effect. Recorded in just 22 days without the support of a label, it’s a triumph of endeavour and emotional output.
Opening with the rumbling, seductive discord of ‘Seasons Change’, the album sways between different styles, a mix of Jefferson Airplane-esque swirling psychedelia, catchy pop numbers and raucous rock tracks, all underpinned by the brightness and power of Alice’s voice.
‘Runaway Love’, the first single, was inspired by an obscure seven-inch picked up in a Paris flea market, and the quirky, globetrotting love song is almost impossible to dislodge from your head (in a good way that is). Along with the deceptively disarming ‘Cry Cry Cry’, there’s plenty of clever pop to pull in the punters on the radio.
The album then takes a darker turn, with ‘How Long Can These Streets Be Empty?’ described by Alice herself as “probably the most honest track on the album”. But in the way that perhaps characterises the genre-busting album, it then twists 90 degrees with the party tunes ‘Orbiter’ and ‘Conversations of Love’, before winding back round again to the melancholic yet funky ‘Fairweather Friend’ and ending on ‘The End of the World’.
The great thing about these songs is that their varied qualities and vibrancy also lends to them a certain versatility; the spacey, spectral feel in much of Dan Carey’s production is equally well-suited to a hard-edged rock performance, as is the case in recent live performanceswith her excellent band, but they also fit in well in a more plaintive acoustic arrangement. By turns poignant, powerful and fist-pumpingly poppy, the quality is evident in the ease and confidence of her live shows.
With several appearances at festivals this summer – including V, T in the Park and a cruelly early Glastonbury slot criminally overlooked by the BBC highlights – there is the potential for her to finally get the recognition she deserves.
So, after years down the rabbit-hole, Alice comes through the looking glass and seems to be heading for Wonderland, all covered in Gold.