Album review

Alice Russell – ‘To Dust’

Alice Russell – To Dust (Bonus Track Edition)
(Tru Thoughts. Album review by Amy Sibley-Allen)

Nobody can deny the heart and soul that reverberate from British singer-songwriter Alice Russell. With this special bonus track edition of her previous album To Dust (2013) you get a little extra of this Russell magic. Alongside all the To Dust tunes, from the title track itself to Heartbreaker, Twin Peaks and Hard and Strong, there are five bonus tracks, six if you count Different – although this was already a bonus on the first release.

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Two of the tracks are exclusive reworkings of Russell’s original tunes by fellow Tru Thoughts artists. Sefi Zisling, the jazz and funk trumpeter hailing from Tel Aviv, uses all his psychedelic, pulsating, swirling funk power in his interpretation of Heartbreaker, giving it a very different vibe and a fresh new take.

Brighton-based electronic duo Anushka, formed of producer Max Wheeler and singer/songwriter Victoria Port, present what can only be described as a glittering disco ball dancefloor rendition of I Loved You. Frankly, it would be impossible for anyone to keep their wild hearts from dancing to this. And if one additional offering of I Loved You wasn’t enough there is also a stripped back acoustic variant, with the focus on Russell’s soulful, rich vocals accompanied by heavy drums and piano.

Previously released Breakdown, featuring late American soul legend Darondo, is an adaptation of Let it Go (breakdown), from the first To Dust album. It’s incredibly catchy and Darondo’s raw vocals add so much. Any Mad Men fans are likely to recognise this version as appearing on trailers for the seventh series.

The final bonus track is Russell’s take on quirky New Zealander Connan Mockasin’s I’m The Man That Will Find You. Mockasin’s track is unbelievably and wonderfully creepy and whilst Russell feeds in a much sexier and sultrier sound, thankfully the weird and unnerving undertones prevail.

This is a great release to have on vinyl for existing Russell fans and for those new to her work. Besides the two reworkings from Anushka and Zisling all bonus tracks are previously released, but it’s a treat to have an album with so much Russell in one place.

Release date is 9 July 2021, on Tru Thoughts Recordings. Available as a 2LP 12” vinyl and digital.

LINK: To Dust on Tru Thoughts website

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