MUSIC

Paula Rae Gibson's debut album, No More Tiptoes was released on the 33 Jazz Records in 2007.No More Tiptoes was written in response to the death of Rae Gibson's husband and features voice by Rae Gibson and keyboard by pianist Tom Pilling.
A track from the album, We Blow It Every Time, was selected as one of the top ten tracks of the year by Time Out.
Her second album, Maybe Too Nude, recorded in collaboration with Will Gregory of Goldfrapp and drummer Martyn Barker was released on Babel Label in 2008.
The tracks with Will Gregory were written for a film she wrote with her husband which was in pre production at the time of his death.
A third album, combined with a book Babel Label 2009: You Gather My Darkness Like Snow Watch It Melt came in 2011 with pianist Ivo Neame and Jim Hart.
The Pleasure Of Ruin, was released the following year by Babel, as vinyl and cd, with Mike Flynn, Sophie Alloway and Tom Pilling.She won Best Music Video, "The Poet Without Tragedy", London Independent Film Festival, 2009
She is now working with Mike Flynn, bass player.The project is called RaeForrest and is part of the London Jazz Festival, November 2016.
THE EMOTIONAL MACHINE, PROJECT WITH KIT DOWNES TO DEBUT AT THE LONDON JAZZ FESTIVAL 2017


"A Renaissance Woman" -- (The Guardian)

"A voice that at times is so gossamer light it threatens to evaporate into the ether... Simultaneously disconcerting and moving." -- Peter Quinn, Jazzwise

"With a crystalline voice that switches between low confessional tones to fragile, gossamer-light highs, Gibson's acerbic wit constantly questions her (and the listener's) desires, feelings and self-image." -- Time Out




All Things Bleak and Beautiful
By Foggy Tewsday VINE VOICE on 11 Oct. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Intimate and intense are two adjectives that, while apt, probably don't do justice to the songs contained on this album. Intimate because all fourteen tracks consist of Paula Rae Gibson's vocal and Tom Pilling's keyboard. Intense because of the raw subject matter upon which the songs are based. After the death of her husband, Paula Rae Gibson did not want to risk the possible heartbreak that a new love affair could bring, but, as her website has it, "Wishing to satisfy her physical needs, she embarked on a series of volatile sexual encounters with all the wrong men." `No More Tiptoes' is not an easy album to get into. It's not full of radio-friendly pop songs and its melancholic backdrop may give the impression of being a one-trick album. It would be a mistake to dismiss it on those terms because it does repay repeated listening.

Paula Rae Gibson's voice, stylistically, lies somewhere between Tori Amos and Fiona Apple with dark undertones of Nico and the idiosyncrasy of Mary Margaret O'Hara. The comparison with Tori Amos is probably the most striking because of the piano accompaniment throughout the album.

Tom Pilling's playing has a blues tinge on `The Wrong Man' as Paula sings of a man who "loves to make you feel small." At other times his sound is akin to a Harold Budd composition, notably on `Busy Fairies'. On `White Bird', the delicacy of Pilling's playing counterpoints the lyrical intensity and mournfulness of Paula's voice to exquisite effect. Paula's most Nico-like performance comes on the album's closing track, `I'll Always Walk Away' and here, Pilling's playing is dark and full of foreboding. Throughout the album, Paula's voice takes on various cadences. At times it barely rises above a whisper as her lyrics are wrung out of her. At others, it cracks, quavers and slows almost to a speaking voice.

Paula Rae Gibson has a book of photography called `Diary of a Love Addict' available. `No More Tiptoes' could perhaps be described as the songs of a love addict. On `Come Tomorrow', she plaintively asks: "Come tomorrow, will we be feeling this still?" and she asserts that, "Love is the only drug." Feelings and love are constant refrains on this stunning album. Poetry and photography seem to have been Paula Rae Gibson's main creative outlets until this album. I wonder if she can come up with another, more thematically varied album, or will this be her only foray into music? I really hope we hear more from her, but, either way, at the moment, `No More Tiptoes' is my favourite album of 2007. Don't miss it.



Paula Rae Gibson's first album, `No More Tiptoes', was my favourite of 2007. At the time of writing this review, it's only June of 2008, but I think it's going to take something special to knock Paula from top spot this year, too.

Not only does this album contain another set of superb songs, but the personnel here are greater in number than on the previous album which consisted only of Paula's vocal and Tom Pilling's keyboard. In trying to describe the content of the first album, clutching for reference points, Tori Amos was the name that came most readily to mind. Had `Maybe Too Nude' been issued before its predecessor, I think those reference points - although echoes of Tori Amos's style are still evident - would have been harder to narrow down.

The pain of loss, grief and the consequences of the need for physical fulfilment to replace that which has been lost are, like the first album, the themes that run through `Maybe Too Nude'. The melodies that sweep and swirl through the album accompanying Paula's extraordinary vocals often have a haunting beauty about them heightening the songs' poignancy. Those vocals are, at times sweetly pure and flowing; at others, languid, sapped of strength, ethereal.

Often, the music can lull you into thinking that this is a chill-out album. However, the lyrics are not so cozy. `God Blinked': "Found his writing / My hand I'm biting / How would you like it if you read his sigh? / Doctor, doctor, which way am I gonna die?"

Along with `God Blinked', `Not Going to Mention', is pared down to piano and vocals only, accentuating the emotional impact of the lyrics and their delivery. For those whose first taste of Paula Rae Gibson's work is `Maybe Too Nude', these two tracks exemplify the excellence that awaits should you (and you should) want to obtain `No More Tiptoes'. Tom Pilling's keyboard on `See Me Through Your Own Eyes', on which he again is the solo accompanist, has a blues hue and a hint of the style of Martin Rev in some of the playing, scuffing the melody of some of its smoothness.

`Scribbles As a Face' would not sound out of place on a Massive Attack album with Martyn Barker's electronic percussion and keyboard, and Paula's dreamy vocal. Similarly, `Wise Too Young' has a mechanical beat. Its circuitous melody, courtesy of Will Gregory's playing, complements the clarion call of the song's title and chorus, with Paula's vocal taking on an almost robotic timbre.

The album closes with the title track. Tom Pilling's keyboard here sounds like a heavy vibraphone as Paula, having laid bare her feelings over two albums, has a twinge of regret about allowing too much of her emotional self to be revealed: "You've seen me in a thousand pieces / Breaking down / Needing any man / I've been so naked before you / Now I think I've been / Maybe too nude."

It's a song that gives the impression, to me at least, that a chapter has been closed. So, does this signal the end of Paula Rae Gibson's musical odyssey? I really hope not. She and the musicians on this album are a class act. Personally, I tend to cherry-pick favoured tracks after giving an album a few listens, but this is a set that demands to be heard all the way through.

If Paula Rae Gibson is a new name to you, then I'd suggest that you'd find her two albums of interest if you enjoy the music of Tori Amos, Nico, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Robin Holcomb and Fiona Apple.