One of the things I really like about "Flow And Change" the latest album from Judy Dyble, is my complete inability to nail it down, but that is not an uncommon trait in her music, regardless of whether she's recording solo or, to a lesser degree, within the context of a band.
One of the reasons for that diversity is that Judy very much writes her lyrics with a purpose, to be about someone, something, an idea, a point of view, some come easily and others have to fight their way onto the score, but they each know they have come into existence to represent a concept, rather than be a simple interpretation on a theme. From there the interpretation is shared to help turn that poetry into songs and on "Flow And Change" that predominantly falls to Alistair Murphy, but also includes a collaboration with All About Eve's Julianne Regan, who also provides some backing vocals.
The album moves across so many references, some of the songs feel like they could have come out of the best parts of music hall or at the very least musical theatre, enthused to the core with a real sense of drama, something as true of the duets such as "Letters" and the solo vocal of "Featherdancing". That's counter balanced by songs that have a more pastoral feel, as I said, "Flow And Change" is a mercurial album.
If there is a theme that links "Flow And Change", it's that of new beginning and departures, a lullaby for a grand child, "Beautiful Child" as well as songs that draw in of fate and the mysticism of life, "Crowbaby" and "The Sisterhood Of Ruralists", the latter being an eleven plus minute epic looking at how mysticism has influenced the ways of artists for centuries and how that art helps keep us in contact with our roots and it would be remiss of me not to suggest that you check out not only the art in the booklet, but also the links back to those artists.
"Flow And Change" is a fascinating, one that feels, to use a phrase that is rapidly attaining usage, bespoke. It would be difficult to find an another artist to that would craft an album like this, the individual songs, perhaps, but an album like this one, nope that's Judy Dyble's ground and she knows how to use it.
Neil King July 2013
From FATEA Magazine