Gin Wigmore
Blood To Bone
Released 26th June 2015 via Universal Music
Reviewed by Patrick Campbell
REVIEW RATING: 4/5

It’s been awhile since Gin Wigmore released her second album Gravel and Wine, but she is back with a vengeance. Full of emotion and experimentation, Blood To Bone is an exciting new step for the Kiwi songstress.

After what has been a tumultuous time – touring her last album all over the world, getting engaged, cutting that off and marrying another man – Gin must have had enough pent up to write an incredible album, and she has done just that. Taking a sidestep from the bluesy roots of Gravel and Wine, Blood To Bone is still very centred in her throwback style, but there are new elements and it’s full of risk-taking, where G&W played it safe.

Opening with New Rush, there’s an intense throbbing synth line, as Gin croons “I step on you to sip on fire.” This opener gives an idea as to how Wigmore has lived the past few years; taking risks, looking for the next rush. It brings the album straight onto full assault.

Nothing To No One
follows on with this. The synths are held off by a jumpy piano line and the emotion is even more raw and fresh in the words of this track.

This album is definitely a break-up record, but not your normal one. It’s not mourning a lost love, but mourning the actions that led to that, and in slower tracks, like This Old Heart and Black Parade, you can truly hear the mourning and regret.

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Blood To Bone
is an absolute triumph for Wigmore. Her songwriting and voice have never sounded better, and the production on the album is fresh and exciting. The second single, Written In The Water, sounds like the follo- up to her James Bond track Man Like That. Fast-paced, bouncing and energetic, it pulls you in between the slower parts of the record.

The deeper cuts come on the second half of the album. Holding On To Hell is dark and brooding, the closest to whispering Wigmore’s big voice ever comes. She sings silky smooth in the chorus, once again pulling you in.

What makes this record exciting for fans of Wigmore is the use of new technology and effects; tracks like DFU feature heavily distorted vocals. and flying synth bursts. It’s different, but Wigmore does it well. For many artists, it can be easy to go too far with this at first, but she holds back and uses it effectively, not excessively.

The closing track of the album is a rough take. You can hear Wigmore discussing how she’s going to play it at first, and then she plays, just her and the piano, for four minutes. It’s a beautiful end to the album and a brilliant showcase of just what she can do.

Overall, this album is just what fans of Gin Wigmore have been waiting for. It’s a ballsy, exciting, creative record that still keeps close to what everyone knows and loves of Gin.

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