Dulcie Taylor’s debut album, Diamond & Glass, is an unexpected pleasure rife with elegantly crafted pop songs with a jazz undercurrent, incisive lyrics, sweet, bluesy vocals reminiscent of both Joni Mitchell and Tish Hinojosa, and note-perfect instrumental support.
Taylor, who accompanies herself on acoustic guitar and dulcimer, affects a bracing equanimity in singing of traumatic events, wasting no time on mourning what can’t be changed but rather digging deep for the resolve to carry on and create a better day. “I know happy endings aren’t always in the cards,” she sings in “I Have a Ring,” her wrenching account of a family torn apart by divorce. In a briskly rendered advisory, “It Ain’t Love,” Taylor gives a verbal kick in the head to a friend who’s turned to whiskey to dull the pain of her man’s unfaithfulness: “Unless he’s got a heart that’s true/unless you feel it when it touches you/it ain’t love.” The evocative, Spanish-flavored heartbreaker “Corazon Frio” alternately surges and recedes as Taylor delineates the gradual dissolution of a love affair, the anguish heightened by a dense, atmospheric production that includes memorable solos from piano, cello, and soprano sax. These songs reveal more of themselves with each listening, and the music works its own subdued magic along with Taylor’s lilting voice. Diamond & Glass makes a mesmerizing impression.