Louise Le May’s long-awaited debut album A Tale Untold, is a stunningly beautiful album exquisitely produced by Louis Philippe and Ken Brake. Recorded and mixed by Ken Brake at Regal Lane Studio, London.
Louise Le May is something different – a unique and very English talent. Sometimes hard to categorise, her music in combination with the luscious, sophisticated arrangements of Louis Philippe, soars. It’s timeless, dreamlike and reflective.
Her voice, recorded with minimal fuss, open and natural is the first thing you notice. It has a lightness yet conveys a surprising depth. In the words of The High Llamas frontman Sean O’Hagan:
“She has the steady delivery of Judee Sill, but the harmonic flavour of Kate Bush or Robert Wyatt.”
Louise released a limited edition EP in 2009 attracting glowing reviews and airplay from Guy Garvey, Tom Robinson (including a live session) and many others. The EP featured reworkings of Louise’s early demos by Louis Philippe who discovered an immediate affinity with her music having been introduced to it by The Curveball presenter Christopher Evans. Plans were made for this album – A Tale Untold.
Some time, dedication and great deal of inspired effort has resulted in an album that’s been well worth the wait. An impressive full debut.
Arranged by Louis Philippe and produced by Ken Brake and Louis Philippe, A Tale Untold was recorded at Regal Lane Studio, London, recorded, mixed and mastered by Ken Brake. Piano arrangements on Furniture and The Only Fish by Danny Manners. The album features a plethora of fine musicians and even a small contribution from Young Marble Giant Stuart Moxham.
“…this is bravely gentle, soul-assuaging music that needs to be played loud so that its often swooningly luxuriant attention to detail and hidden depths can be properly savoured. A truly enchanting disc.”
– David Kidman, FATEA
“This wonderful debut album is a thoughtful and beautiful collection of enchanting songs from a unique talent. Writte with a keen eye for, and understanding of, those observations and details that transform the mundane into art, Le May is a worthy addition to an English tradition of songwriting that spans Ray Davies and Lennon and McCartney to Kate Bush and Kirsty MacColl.
Louise’s pure, sensual voice embraces the power of the simple and understated and this elegance of means is complemented by the sensitive arrangements of Louis Philippe and the intelligent and non-intrusive work of producer Ken Brake. Highlights include the delightful ‘Cassandra’, a pretty but poignant song shot through with narrative visions of pathos-riven domesticity, and the haunting ‘Broken Child’.
Stylistically diverse yet conceptually coherent, this album ranges across a variety of genres as it seeks to marry up creative intent with a rich variety of influences.” ****
– Greg Healey, Shindig!
Press for Louise Le May’s limited edition EP ‘Tell Me One Thing That Is New’ (2009):
“Time was, long ago, that I thought there could never be enough sensitive, breathy-voiced female singer-songwriters. Old and jaded as I am now, though, the merest glimpse of a moody black and white cover sends me spiralling into a state of ennui that takes a couple of double live Grobschnitt albums to dispel. And then along comes Louise Le May to dispel the decades of accrued cynicism.
This is quite simply exquisite; sensual and beguiling in the manner – though not style – of Kate Bush, with that kind of Englishness that draws you in like a rose-scented breath. Never slipping into fey quirkiness, even with the fluttering sonic trickery that opens the majestic ‘War With Love’, all the tracks possess a quietly fierce individuality. Maybe ‘individuality’ isn’t quite the word, though, as arranger and multi-instrumentalist Louis Philippe does a magnificent job, with layered vocals and glacial piano to the fore and other instruments – guitar, bass, string quartet – adding texture as necessary.” ****
– Oz Hardwick, Rock’n’Reel
“Exquisite…such a refreshingly original sound”
– Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music
“A triumph. The arrangements are top-flight”
– Van Dyke Parks, Composer/Arranger
“I have been playing Louise’s absolutely beautiful and haunting songs incessantly. The arrangements are magnificent ”
– Jonathan Coe – Author of What A Carve-Up! and The Rotters Club
“Not since the debut of Carly Simon have I heard a “girl” with such artistic depth and ability to write a tense series of tonal angles, all packaged quite perfectly in a neat 4 minute song-format”
– Eric Matthews
“The richness of the vocal, the depth of the instrumentation, always finding new things to reveal. It’s just such a natural feeling album. Part dream, part cathartic, wholly inspirational songs.”
– Neil King, FATEA
“This is English music, honest and open. Louise’s songs are strange without being quirky and delivered with a settled assurance. She has the steady delivery of Judee Sill, but the harmonic flavour of Kate Bush or Robert Wyatt.”
– Sean O’Hagan, The High Llamas
“Absolutely wonderful. What a haunting voice and an equally haunting songwriter. It’s brilliant stuff, especially Be My Guru.”
– Fredo Viola