Florence Sommerville - On My Way
Here at #TEAMw21 we like to search the early Festival slots and the undercards of shows to find you new emerging talent and occasionally word of mouth from a respected source shines the light for us. 2023 has certainly been a year for emerging talent and we now have another to add to the list in Florence Sommerville.
Refreshingly we can tell you very little about her, other than she is 19 and quite possibly hails from Essex judging by the cover of her single "On My Way" where google reliably informs us that Horndon is. The nicely photo shopped addition of "Floville" as one of the nearby destinations on the street sign immediately warmed us to her before we had heard a single note, and once we got to hear "On My Way" we were reeled in hook line and sinker.
In a summer that has seen new releases get ever louder, this stands out all the more for being so quiet and considered, there is no turning the amps to eleven here - they probably barely touch five! - Florence's backing is not some hot rocking combo, more a string quartet which allows her the opportunity to clearly make her point.
For someone just starting out she more or less lays herself open telling you everything about her - the instrumentation is predominantly just Florence's prominent guitar with a subtle string sound playing behind her. It is an open statement
"I'd like to pour my heart out on paper and play it
Tell you all my stories, show you what I'm made of
Show you I can make it"
There is then a further refreshing burst of openness about how unworldly she is
"I'm not full of life lessons
Can't even take care of myself
Ain't got too many confessions
For that you have to have seen the world"
This though is the start of her journey, one that she invites us to join her on, in a delightfully engaging chorus
"But I'm on my way, falling as I go I am
On my way, somewhere new
On my way, crumbling as I pull through I am
On my way, somewhere new
I hope I see you there too"
A piano joins the fray, the keys are barely brushed and make the faintest of sounds yet it adds a sparkle to the whole affair. The whole song is imbued with a certain charm of innocence and adventure, anxiety mixed with wanderlust
"I don't know where I'm going
But I'm getting there, as quickly as I can
Blindfolded, I'm the one driving
Can't see anything, guess I'm just listening"
Florence is blessed with a voice perfect for country music, in the above verse the words "can" and "listening" are extended but in a natural non showy way - proper singing you might say!
There is a refreshing honesty in the lines
"Wish I had a little more direction
Wish it was easier to ask for help"
If this opening single is any sign Florence is most definitely heading in the right direction
A chance to be an early joiner to Florence Sommerville's journey comes next month in London at the Slaughtered Lamb where she will be playing support to Hannah Bethell.
Ticket Link https://tinyurl.com/HannahBethelSlaughteredLamb