Cathy Claret - Primavera - Album Review - Respect Records - Out Now (JPN)

The sun is coming out - it must be time for a new Cathy Claret album.

Primavera is album number seven, her first since 2015's acclaimed Solita Por El Mundo and a continuation of the whispering singer's seemingly flawless fusion of pop and flamenco.

While Solita Por El Mundo could arguably be dedicated to her adopted Spanish homeland, Primavera's heart lies with Japan and sees the singer eschew the socio-political issues at home in favour of a straight out-and-out Western pop collection for Eastern ears.

Fans of her previous albums will be delighted with the vast majority of Primavera. There's the excellent title-track to be going on with, a sprightly string-driven breezy little number that evokes carefree days whizzing about the hills of Catalonia on two wheels, lead single Ma Maison and the super Les Papillons take care of the synth-pop side of things - think of a breathy Future Islands and you're someway there - while re-recordings of fan favourites Bollere and La Chica Del Viento are presented with genuine forethought rather than merely cashing-in.

I particularly like the slightly melancholic air of Sepulcral, Sola and Pile Ou Face, three understated songs that display Claret's ability to craft seriously memorable songs without losing touch with her Med roots (all three should frankly be further up the album's running order).

In fact, there's little to complain about here - Claret has surpassed her last album in spades. In this hard, brutal world, Primavera has a spring in its step and potentially a place in your heart.