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Carla Diratz & The Archers of Sorrow — Blue Stitches
(Discus Music 169CD, 2024, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2024-04-06

Blue Stitches Cover art

There are numerous idiosyncratic singers in the world of popular music, jazz, blues, and so on — singers who you identify the instant you hear them; Roger Chapman, Peter Gabriel, Robert Wyatt, David Surkamp... and on the female side you have Dagmar Krause, Sonja Kristina, Renate Knaup, Urszula Dudziak, and both lists go on the more I think about it, but that second group should certainly include French singer Carla Diratz, for there is absolutely nobody else who sounds quite like her. To date she has mostly appeared on recordings by others (Dave Newhouse, Manna/Mirage, Nick Prol, Eclectic Maybe Band, and others), but she has released several of her own as well, the first that came to my attention was 2017’s Diratz; in 2021 she released the debut album with her group The Archers of Sorrow titled The Scale; now three years later comes the follow-up, Blue Stitches, an amazing album that seems to have a little bit of everything: jazz, blues, folk, rock, pop, and more, all imbued with Diratz’ interesting lyrics and unique vocals. So who are the players in the Archers of Sorrows? If you guessed Martin Archer you would be off to a good start — he plays saxes, clarinet, organ, electric piano, harmonica and more, track depending. Guitarist Nick Robinson, bassist Dave Sturt, drummer Adam Fairclough, organist Adam Fairhall, and trumpeter Charlotte Keeffe appear on most of the album’s thirteen cuts. The compositions involve Robinson, Diratz, and Archer with Diratz responsible for all the lyrics with the exception of the gentle “I’m a Drifter” written by Travis Edmonson. Beginning with the rocker “Drops of Remembrances,” the album eases along from strength to strength, taking in elements of jazz, blues, rock, folk, a veritable showcase of different styles all connected by Diratz’ voice. Other standouts include the bluesy “Recalling the Fear,” the exotic “Free Delivery,” the tasty jazz bit “Journey Within,” and the extended jazz romp “Places I've Been.” There really isn’t a bad song on here anywhere, and it’s one of those “the more you listen to it, the better it gets” albums.

Filed under: New releases, 2024 releases

Related artist(s): Martin Archer, Diratz (Carla Diratz)

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