Young Runaway is Hattie Briggs’ follow up album to last year’s excellent Red & Gold and is self-released on her own label, Wise Dog Records.
With her first EP, My Shepherds Hut garnering significant attention as well as a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nomination, Briggs made a life changing decision to leave her Russian degree at Oxford University to become a full time musician. Attracting the likes of Pete Waterman to produce her latest offering, it would seem that she has made a wise choice.
Having penned all of the eleven tracks with contributions coming from Jack Cookson on Have We Met Before?, Asha McCarthy on The Lake and The River with the producer having some input on the latter, this is very much an album that showcases her skills as both a vocalist and musician.
With eleven tracks that seem to have drawn inspirations from the worlds of pop, country and folk, there is a mixture of sombre and upbeat songs as well as a touch of balladry. Album opener The Lake is ethereal and delicate whilst Lift Me Up is a straight infectious country song which showcases her great song writing with her amazing voice.
Here’s To Hoping, the first single to be released from the album has echoes of the inspirational Eva Cassidy in its style, helped no doubt by Dan Cassidy, Eva’s brother who plays strings on the album. Castle On The Sand is a very mature song; both melancholic and thoughtful whilst You Only Live Once is an energetic number urging us on to live life to the full.
On Your Way, a very up-tempo song, is assisted by a male backing vocal and is followed by the boppy and fun Digging To Australia which is a witty and gorgeous folk song. There are no fillers on this album, all of the tracks can stand alone. There is Summertime Man with its beautiful lyrics and Talk To Me being a straight forward pop song.
Hattie Briggs has a unique, amazing voice. Combine this with her song writing that places happy stories alongside the sad, hopeful, fun, thought provoking and optimistic, then you will not be disappointed with this album. Watch out for Hattie Briggs in the future; she is likely to be around for quite a while.
Our Rating: (4 / 5)