The Blackberry Thief EP

Review site: Fatea Magazine

Review author: Tim Martin

Date: November 2022

This EP, released for Halloween, but good for anytime of year, matches 3 songs from Delf's debut album, Into the Wilderness with two previously unreleased bonus tracks.

It opens with 'Stealing My Fear Away', a solemn, almost funereal song thanks to the drumbeat that runs through it. Delf's singing is halfway between a traditional folk style and Tori Amos. 'My Familiar' which follows has a an almost African shuffling rhythm pattern behind her sweet harmonies. Those harmonies disguise some fairly dark lyrics. "I put my bones back piece by piece, I steal the blood back from the beast". Delf seems to delight in undermining her audience's expectations as the next song 'Heaviness In The Head' is at first sight a fluffy folk/pop piece, until again you listen to the words more closely. "There's a forest in my eyes and a brook in my brain. Pull the flowers over my head, asphyxiate yourself sane."

Her subversive way with a song draws you in and having now listened to the rest of Into The Wilderness, this is typical of her music. If you like these songs get the album, you won't be disappointed. 

The unreleased songs are an a cappella version of 'My Familiar', full of space. With the instrumentation chopped out it becomes even more sinister than before. The final track returns to 'Heaviness In The Head' - but this time as an instrumental. Jon Loomes' string arrangements are shown off to good effect, and there is more than a touch of 70s band Renaissance about this music. Delf's words also remind me of poet Betty Thatcher who wrote for Renaissance. As a taster of Eliza Delf's work this sets the scene for her album very well.

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