Susan Raven is a singer and songwriter, a 21st Century troubadour with a rich and haunting voice. Her acclaimed debut album Glittering Cities (4-stars at AllMusicguide.com), is a cinematic journey from start to finish, an emotion-fired collection of majestic songcraft with strong vocal performances that fall somewhere between Grace Slick, Sinead O'Connor and the Cranberries.
The arrangements soar, ranging from multi-layered synth programs over dance grooves through to a pure acoustic and orchestral approach. Ethereal instrumentation and inspired performances from, among others, members of the Peter Gabriel and Salif Keita bands, perfectly establish the sonic aura around her thought-provoking lyrics.
There are three songs from Susan's debut album "Glittering Cities" and three songs from the latest album, "Ravensong", here at IAC for your listening pleasure. Please do listen to them, and if you enjoy what you hear, you should visit Susan's web site where there are previews of all of the songs on both of these albums.
Susan Raven: "I write all my songs on a vintage Martin 12-string guitar. It is an entire band in one instrument, the harmonics and drones that spin out from the strumming suggest many of the overdubs that follow. I take a song and hone it until the base-metal turns to gold. I write lyrics to trigger emotions, memories and inspiration in people and as my craft has matured, so a strong individual sound has emerged. My music has been variously described as Cosmic World Fusion, Space Rock and Ethno-Pop."
The AllMusicGuide - 4-star review: "Susan Raven's debut album, Glittering Cities, is transcendent. Though the spiritual theme of the music may not appeal to everyone's taste, the excellence of production and exquisite melding of the instrumentals and vocals will. Raven's voice is gorgeous, and her original compositions are moving and insightful. All cuts are technically excellent. While some may be less lyrically detailed, as with the somewhat simplistic command of "Stack Your Guns," others sail and soar. The title song is a lucid and vibrant example of Raven's total production ethereal, shimmering, and visionary. (Fans may recognize David Rhodes' guitar on this track from his performances in Peter Gabriel's band.) Also outstanding are the haunting and evocative 'Saturn' and the warmly heartfelt 'I Think of You', a eulogy for two friends. Particularly noteworthy accompaniment comes from Steffy Sharpstring's glissando guitar and Hilaire Penda's bass on '"Saturn', as well as on 'I Think of You'. In all, this album is a positive introduction to a very talented artist whose skill is clearly presented, not simply in her personal performance, but in her ability to choose other musicians and producers as talented as she is, and create a superb total composition with their support."
CDBaby.com: "Majestic songcraft bolstered by a strong vocal performance from singer songwriter Susan Raven; the scope of the music is reminiscent of Peter Gabriel's ambitious catalogue - a beautiful album."