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Beck Goldsmith

January 2015

SHE came pretty much out of nowhere. While the Nottingham music scene was awaiting the release of the debut albums by Saint Raymond, Indiana and Amber Run, suddenly there it was, Lustre & Curve by Beck Goldsmith.

Who the hell is Beck Goldsmith?

It seems she’s been around a while. A one-time member of Lorna, her presence on the city gig circuit was a while back, alongside Love Ends Disaster, Swimming and lo-ego.

She self-released two albums of melancholic folk then disappeared to Scotland, Wiltshire and London, moving back to North Notts recently after the breakdown of her marriage.

But you are unlikely to see her hopping aboard the city gig circuit anytime soon.

“I shy away from that acoustic, singer-songwriter corner of a bar type of gig, I’m not really into that,” says the 34-year-old, who was born in Mansfield. “I like being a bit louder with a full band. Although I’m not a band so I fall between the two. It’s why I’ve never really found a niche in Nottingham.”

That said, she will be playing The Maze next month, supporting Drew Holcomb for Cosmic American.

Lustre & Curve, released this week on Island largely owes its existence to Goldsmith’s version of I Vow To Thee My Country being used on a trailer for the BBC drama The Village, starring John Simm.

The song, a traditional one created in 1921 using a poem by Sir Cecil Spring Rice and the music of Gustav Holst, was chosen by Beck’s friend Jon Dix, one-time member of Nottingham-based alt-rock band Love Ends Disaster.

Now based in London and composing music for TV and film, Jon called on his old friend to deliver the vocals for his pitch to the company making the trailer in 2013.

“I was living in Scotland at the time,” says Beck.

“Although it was only used on the trailer, it was absolutely hammered on TV and the radio. It was from that I got my management and label interest.”

Dix produced the album, a collection of melancholic and yet uplifting songs partly inspired by Beck’s divorce.

“It’s not just about that. There were other things going on in my life at that time as well – positive things.

“The divorce wasn’t bleak and acrimonious and mud-slinging – it wasn’t a big horrible bust-up. It happened organically. We both agreed on it, although it was still hard to go through.”

She adds: “I didn’t want it to be a bleak, angry-woman-tortured-soul kind of album.

“Quite a few of the tracks start small and build. I like adding textures and giving crescendo and being able to sing out at the end.”

Lustre & Curve has earned strong reviews, with Mojo saying “She bends her stoic dark folk into filmic shapes 4/5” and The Sun offering “Her beautiful melodies are full of hope, 3/5”. The Guardian didn’t seem to like it but still gave it 3/5.

Sports presenter Claire Balding had her in session on her Radio 2 show after choosing I Vow To Thee My Country for Desert Island Discs.

Radio 2 has since played Point & Pier, a bonus track on the album that also borrows from a classical composer.”

“It’s a Tchaikovsky melody that I borrowed,” laughs Beck, who also has a publishing deal with BMG Chrysalis and is writing songs for other artists.

What most have been drawn to is her breathy, lilting – and a little Irish – voice.

“When I started out I was singing properly. If you listen to my first album, and I don’t recommend it, my voice is totally different.

“It was when I did some music for the Buzz music trivia video game with Jon where I had to impersonate a lot of different vocalists – I realised these people were singing properly. But they were obviously singing in a way that felt comfortable. So I stopped thinking about the way I sang and let my voice just happen. I started to enjoy the sounds I was making.

“The way my voice is now feels nice in my mouth.”

Beck Goldsmith supports Drew Holcomb at The Maze on Sunday, February 8 from 7.30pm. Tickets are £12.50 from 

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