There is a lot of power in understatement. Even when trying to convey the most emotive of ideas, the most universal of situations, the most heart-felt of passions, you can often create a bigger impact through the delicacy of space and restraint than with bombast and weight. Aflame is a testament to such an idea and whilst it is interestingly captioned by the artist herself as “not a love song” it is undoubtedly a song about love in the wider sense.
On top of a platform of spacious piano and gentle sweeping synth washes, Kiera Lyons’ voice is both captivating and confident and even when the beat does kick in to drive the song forward, the step up is one of balance allowing the song to play gently with dynamic shifts rather than offer lurching changes of pace or clumsy shifts of gear. And it is this attitude which sets the song apart from most other pop music being made today. For this is pop music, in the broadest, most balladic sense of the term but whereas most people working in the same field today are effectively checking themselves in the mirror, dressing their songs up with cliched tricks and augmenting their videos with fake glamour and dance routines, Aflame deals in openness and honesty.
And that is the charm of the song, and indeed the video, lies. The sound of a young woman expressing her thoughts in a mature, poetic and realistic way and a video that wanders between the everyday and the elevated but which retains its footing in the real world. Many artists her age would be ranting about boys, nightclubs, social media and the like, blunt lyrical instruments that hit home without the grace and charisma being displayed here.
So having established that Aflame sits somewhere between timeless emotional ballad and accessible contemporary pop, that the Kiera Lyons has a voice and style that belies her years, that she can write songs that have mass appeal to pop-pickers her own age through to a more discerning, older set, the only question really is this. How long before one of the major labels makes the obvious and long overdue move and signs her and in doing so lays the way for an alternative, integral and more deftly pursued pop pathway into the future?