HELEN TOWNSEND – BATTLEFIELD
‘Battlefield’ is the second single from Walyalup/Fremantle Americana artist, Helen Townsend’s, upcoming album. Following closely behind ‘Is This Love’, which some anonymous hack labelled “irresistible honky tonk blues,” ‘Battlefield’ is a completely different proposition. Townsend has already publicly declared her intention take in the highs and lows of the cycle of mortal love in her new collection of songs and, if ‘Is This Love’ is a high, ‘Battlefield’ rides roughly over the cobblestones of despair that often pave the way to the transcendence of unconditional entanglement.
‘Battlefield’ is a slow burn sure-fire hit…
Words are like poison / Sharp and unkind, Townsend sings early on in ‘Battlefield’, extending her ability to lay bare her personal experiences and make them universal. This laying bare is part of every musician’s drive to create — most can’t help but write from personal experience — but few can achieve the crossover that allows their personal lives and words to speak for all of us. Townsend is one such artist.
‘Battlefield’ is slow and restrained, Townsend’s burning embers of brutal anger lying just beneath its surface. The instrumentation creates space for Townsend’s unique voice that straddles the Pacific with roots directly planted in Nashville, from where Townsend draws much of her musical inspiration. If you like comparisons, you’ll hear enough Rolling Stones and Eagles in ‘Battlefield’ to please your ear, but not so much that there will be lawsuits. Townsend may not be afraid to tip her trucker’s cap to the generations of country-rock artists who have come before her, but her songs are all her own.
‘Battlefield’ is a slow burn sure-fire hit that provides a delicately nuanced counterpoint to ‘Is This Love’. Take some time to savour it before the next release from Townsend and you’ll be for ever holding space for the immortality of ‘Battlefield’ as you ride your own peaks and troughs to true romance.