Album cover for ThornBirdThe Waifs’ Vikki Thorn writes her own review in ThornBird‘s opening track. “I can be tough,” she sings, “I can be tender.”

And she steps up on her solo debut, addressing adult themes, declaring: “I don’t want to be a child anymore.” Later, she adds: “You won’t recognise me anymore now that I’m wearing big girl pants.”

She wears them well, ably assisted by Waifs bass player Ben Franz and guitarist Luke Dux (from The Kill Devil Hills) and drummer Todd Pickett (The Southern River Band). The album’s opening line, delivered with a raspy ache, is: “Give it to me straight, don’t mince your words.” But there’s little to fault here. File next to Bonnie Raitt and Lucinda Williams; this is beautiful work. And make sure you stay till the end – Rough Patch is an epic closing cut. This ThornBird is flying high.

ThornBird by ThornBird is out now via ThornBird.

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