★★★★☆


Four Stars

Rae Morris’ press release assures me that the Blackpudlian songstress is “following her incredible year touring the UK and Europe in 2012” with visits to major cities across the country. The venues she is to play are named with the gravity and urgency of a Royal Navy recruitment advert: Hebden Bridge, Newcastle, Glasgow, You Live, You Move, You Grow, You Fight. Rae Morris, I am assured, is making significant movements.

It is a shame, then, that From Above, the title track of her debut EP, seems to eschew any signs of progress or meaningful development. Doleful piano chords, lifted wholesale from a tearful X Factor montage, do little to illuminate Morris’ moon-eyed emotional sloganeering, redolent of a less quirky – less quirky – Ellie Goulding. Despite repeatedly noting a need to “open up her heart“, Morris gives us nothing arresting, nothing rousing, and really, nothing at all. The song’s lack of discernible structure, rather than giving it freedom, renders it hopelessly one-paced; feeble drum breaks and spidery, irritating riffs, too, are tangibly inorganic.

This single is not so much flat-out awful as uninspiring, and Rae Morris might yet move on to better things. The road is long.