If you remember Billie Myers from late 90s hit ‘Kiss The Rain’, then you might also remember her million-selling album ‘Growing, Pains’. You might also think of her as a mainstream pop singer with a commercial sound, a product of Universal Records. Well, forget all that.
‘Tea And Sympathy’ is an independently written and produced album and it shows in the prevalence of acoustic guitar and singer-songwriter stylings. The LP is at its strongest when the songs are at their least bubblegum – ‘You Wear Heaven’ being a prime example. Dominated by a walking bassline and a Blues sensibility, this track is a masterclass in production and instrumentation, a million miles from the mainstream of ‘Kiss The Rain’. Driven by a foot-tapping beat, cross rhythms in the middle eight section and a layered vocal lift this track to a completely different level.
The closest this LP gets to Myers’ past incarnation is with lead single ‘Wonderful’, though this is still for more indie minded than you might expect. It has an upbeat nature and a fairly generic concept – the discovery of new love – but is relatable and enjoyable in at the right ways. It’s understandable that this should be made the lead single, as it’s perhaps the most ‘pop’ of the songs here. But it’s not a fair representation of an album which climbs higher in its more contemplative moments.