Album Review: Noralyn – Slow Thinker

Slow Thinker is the self-produced from Brisbane, Australia-based indie pop singer songwriter Noralyn.

By Graeme Smith

Feature Photo by Naomi Jowett

From its delicate, ethereal opening, Slow Thinker draws you in. The confessional lyrics of opening track One Of The Few invites you into Noralyn’s mind and world. It’s a welcoming place – honest, authentic and beautiful.

Noralyn’s music draws on classical instrumentals as well as more contemporary influences such as Kate Bush and Tori Amos. Her vocals are similarly expressive and her style brings the same elements of innovation. Track two Education is a case in point, with subtle percussion, a lively arrangement and poetic lyrics.

Track three Girls & Boys is seeped in philosophy and nostalgia and Noralyn’s vocals are especially expressive. Whimsical instrumentals slowly build to a upbeat chorus that speaks of how inter-gender relations really boil down to our childish instincts.

Hot Blood is an introspective track that speaks of struggles with emotional intensity, told through gentle piano that bubbles up like a hot flush. Full Human is similarly reflective, covering the topic of how we can often be our own worst enemy, and our greatest ally if we let ourselves. It’s a triumphant mid-album highlight.

Track six Terrestrial puts the introspection aside in favour of being an ode to another. It unfolds as a waltzing ballad with superbly unique lyrics, reaching a dramatic conclusion which showcases Noralyn’s vocal range.

The soft, ambient Fiction Borders hides the frustration contained in the lyrics, but Noralyn’s vocals express the emotion beautifully. Then Glory provides a powerful conclusion to the album’s story through an urgent piano melody and stratospheric vocals. There’s just enough time left for the short and sweet Postlude and, just like that, the album’s emotional journey is over.

Slow Thinker is such a triumph and proved to be a wonderful introduction to Noralyn’s music for me. It engaged my heart as much as my mind and I don’t think you can ask for much more. Fans of the aforementioned Kate Bush and Tori Amos will find a lot of love in this album. You can check it out below.