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In late 2014, Saskia, at the time a Harley Street therapist, followed her muse and heart, embarking on a career path as an independent singer-songwriter (100% crowdfunded), since which time she’s topped Bristol’s folk charts and received airplay on Johnny Coppin’s show on BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

Saskia’s singing style has something of the old-fashioned purity of early Joan Baez, while her pensive and positive original songs exhibit a clarity of both thought and expression that could be said to stem from her interaction with people during the course of her former career. Gentle Heart is Saskia’s debut album, but its air of entirely relaxed accomplishment belies her relative inexperience – she’s come a long way in barely 15 months, with tour and festival appearances lined up for the foreseeable future, vindicating her talent and the potential wide appeal of her music. The album’s 10 songs benefit from simple arrangements, with (on the majority of tracks) her own plain and unassuming guitar playing augmented by subtle strokes from producer Robert Weil’s synth keyboard and occasional piano.

Stylistically, Saskia’s songs inhabit a gently thoughtful folky-country ambit; the album’s title song, for example, might’ve been imagined sung by the Everlys (Saskia also supplies some lovely, and effective, vocal harmonies of her own on that track, Wash It Away and Blue Shade, for instance). And In The Garden affords her voice the opportunity to soar aloft. Yes, it’s easy to fall under the spell of Saskia’s music...

Saskia’s delicately heartfelt delivery and uncluttered performing style prove very attractive, and I suspect she will make a nicely intimate impression on the live stage in the right setting.

David Kidman

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This album was reviewed in Issue 115 of The Living Tradition magazine.