– from Murphy’s Heart (2010)

One of the things I look forward to at Christmas is the long catch-up letter I get from an old friend. The annual Thea Gilmore album – 10 in 10 years now – is starting to bring me the same glow of kinship and continuity.

There’s always good and bad news in the letters, and some years are better than others. Thea’s struggled with the usual challenges of early adulthood – career, marrying, first child, finding yourself as an artist – but with the added burden of depression. So much fodder for a confessional folkie, and she’s so disarmingly open the listening can get awkward, like stumbling on your daughter’s open diary.

This year brings better news via Murphy’s Heart; she’s turned 30 and for some reason the requisite introspection has her seeing herself more as we do than as she has. Her prodigious vocal and songwriting talents are still let down somewhat by the music (less monotonous percussion please), but another good 7/10 album.

So mostly good news, and glad to hear it. Thanks so much for writing, Thea. Best wishes to you & yours and tty next year x