Release Date: May 28, 2013
Record label: The Leaf Label
Scroll down for full album stream Written on a broken piano, completely alone in a flat in Manchester, Dancing may be the least appropriate title for Nancy Elizabeth’s third album. However, while we’ll probably never hear Nancy Elizabeth Cunliffe covering Party Rock Anthem or teaming up with Calvin Harris, there is a new sensibility on display here, resulting in a more ambitious, driven and – yes, at times – danceable sound. For Dancing, Cunliffe apparently completely immersed herself in the recording process, using computers in her music for the very first time, and basing all her songs around that faulty piano.
Any substantial research* into the subject will tell you that people who go by two first names are generally not to be trusted. And yet, when it came to settling on a stage name, Wigan’s Nancy Elizabeth decided to deliberately call attention to hers by dropping her surname instead, ending up with a moniker that makes her sound less sensitive folk-inspired singer-songwriter, more Dickensian waif. But then you get the impression, reading through the publicity materials for her third album, Dancing, that Elizabeth isn’t the type of person who likes to make things easy for herself, that after her previous effort, Wrought Iron, brought her a fair amount of attention, she took four years to follow it up, recording at home in seclusion for two and a half years before passing her work onto a producer.
Singer-songwriter Nancy Elizabeth may sing about being “flat broke” on third album ‘Dancing’, but it hasn’t stopped her accumulating a piano, several guitars and a host of other instruments in the four years since 2009’s ‘Wrought Iron’. Whether she’s actually poverty-stricken or just pretending, the 29-year-old has put together a set of songs so delicate it has all the impact of a flutter of nymph wings. Nancy employs piano as her main instrument and its comparatively weighty timbre provides a much-needed counterpoint to the floatiness of songs like ‘Heart’ and ‘Desire’, just about preventing the album from scuttling off on the breeze.Simon Jay Catling .