Winter Sun Lucy Wise Independent It could be said that, as the daughter of acclaimed acoustic musicians, Lucy Wise was destined to be a folk performer of some renown. But pedigree alone doesn’t always predetermine the kind of exquisite musicianship that the young West Australia-reared, Melbourne-based troubadour exhibits on her third release. Winter Sun provides ample evidence that Wise — having earned her wings in the family band, then with her own group — is soaring as a soloist. Across a dozen American and Celtic-folk-flavoured originals and several covers, she explores themes of joy, sadness, love and relationships with the maturity of a veteran. There’s nothing boundary breaking; instead, these are carefully crafted, old-school-styled songs consummately executed by a naturally gifted singer blessed with immaculate enunciation. Adroit arrangements accent the melodious nature of Wise’s music, with ukuleles providing the bulk of the backing. The artist’s appreciation of old-time Appalachian music shows in a traditional song ( Swing and Turn Jubilee) and in Wild Roses, an outstanding original. On Walking Out and the equally evocative Following Sparks, Wise plays atmospheric dulcimer. Gillian Welch’s influence pervades Rennie Street Love Song, while a Welch song, Hard Times, is enhanced by fiddle. In the uke-driven Winter Sun and Smile, Wise’s higherregister vocals have the stamp of early Joni Mitchell. Her gentle tone in Here For Now is more reminiscent of trad English songstress Kate Rusby. The set starts with a gentle folkrocker about bouncing back from a relationship breakup ( Solid Ground) and ends with a romantic ballad, You Light Up My Life, which, like the rest of a cliche-free album, is refreshingly sans saccharin.