Helen Dorothy’s gentle folk album ‘Light Time & Sound’ tells its story instrumentally as well as lyrically. The 11 tracks are diverse yet tied together through cohesive instrumentation and Helen Dorothy’s distinctive vocal style. Soothing vocals and delicate harmonies evoke the feeling of a cosy afternoon, and the melodies envelop the listener with warmth and ease.
The lyrics are mostly poetic representations of life, cleverly told with often surprising imagery. One track (Another Way) is written from the perspective of a whining locked up dog that just wants to be out running, licking and chasing sticks. Her lyrics take the listener on a journey to different times and places through evocative direct storytelling, with Australasian themes featuring prominently.
Well-named, the album takes you through time and place not only with lyrics but also musical style.
Opening track Radio Angel is soft and pared-back, with gentle fingerpicked guitar and pedal steel guitar accents provided by Paul Symons. Eucalyptus Man, a NSW-based tale, has intricate guitar lines which flow constantly, accompanied by a soft double bass from Lott.
These two tracks contrast with others such as (Another) Saturday Night which has a grittier country feel, and Over The Line, a toe-tapping gem about family-divisions, voice and acoustic guitar-driven by a rhythmic bass line.
‘Light Time & Sound’ is a well-rounded collection of folk stories, timeless themes embroidered with expressive guitar lines and Helen Dorothy’s bright voice and detailed lyrics. It evokes feelings of nostalgia, passion and tenderness. Recorded by Dave Trail and Adele McCartney at Tsunami Studios in Levin, this self-produced album peels away its layers with multiple listens, revealing new charms.