Album, Single and EP Reviews



  Holding Up Half The Sky by Xan Tyler

Holding Up Half The Sky cover art

Artist: Xan Tyler
Title: Holding Up Half The Sky
Catalogue Number: Last Night From Glasgow LNFG143
Review Format: Download
Release Year: 2024

More is sometimes less. Less is sometimes more and sometimes the less you think about something the more important it becomes. Writing in circles comes naturally to me and it seems that turning words into roundabouts also comes naturally to Xan Tyler with her album “Holding Up Half The Sky” taking the listener to many destinations without ever appearing to be going anywhere.

I would suppose that it would be fair to categorise Xan Tyler as a purveyor of stories in song that are presented in a most eloquent way with her voice, often laconic but sometimes delightfully playful, telling tales infused with poetry and purpose whilst adding enough quirkiness to avoid any accusations of being just another princess for the cappuccino crowd.

The odd thing is that I never noticed any of this on first acquaintance with “Holding Up Half The Sky.” Maybe that was because of the ennui that comes with writing about twenty albums a month or maybe because all that is here has not been designed for those relentlessly seeking a soundtrack to distract them from their own emptiness. The true value of these songs is in their very subtlety. The arrangements provide the support for the words and sentiments behind them and Xan Tyler remains always capable of reigning in any excessive artistic pretensions and instead gets her point across using the hypnotic qualities of gentle persuasion.

Yeah and verily, “Holding Up Half The Sky” is an entirely charming album that has more than enough substance, spice and shade to reward the committed listener and I shall end this review with the important question. Would I spend my own money on this album? Damn right I would.

Best song: The rather creepy “You’re My Muse.”

Verdict: Poetic perfection.
Review Date: May 20 2024