Review – Letting Up Despite Great Faults – ‘Paper Crush’ EP.
Review: Prinzhorn Dance School’s follow up ‘Clay Class’, the album that we’ve been waiting five years for…
The fact that there’s a song on this album that has been selected for a Canadian horror film is a little frightening to say the least. The creepy imagery of merry-go-rounds, shadows and trees are haunting enough, without the actual warnings that are given. ‘Don’t step foot outside, the highway man hangs round the roadside.’ Whoa. ‘Don’t look behind, the watchers are nearing.’ Okay, Beck Goldsmith, you’ve got us on edge now. Good job that, ‘The Watchers’ is the last track on her new album, ‘Hollows For Sorrows’ or some people may not have been able to take anymore. Though, in some ways it should have been the first because the lyricism really shows her spiralling imagination and the music would set the uneasy, yet strangely beautiful atmosphere for the rest of the album. But, ‘Caught Out’ is a good enough opener to introduce Goldsmith’s delicate husk of a voice, overwhelming enough to dwarf the typical piano accompaniment. But not the panpipes, they add the flimsy layer to give this track another feature to be revelled in.
The words of being, ‘thrown to the wind’ are repeated profoundly in, ‘Cowering Point.’ Taking risks and fear seems to be an eerily recurring theme here, though it seems to be a good talking point with Goldsmith’s music wise and it fits her soft, dainty voice. ‘Stella’s Telescope’ is an enchanting title, forcing the fortunate listener to wonder who this Stella girl is and why on earth does her telescope need to have its own song? Astrology aside, it’s a gorgeous song. Mysterious with a picky riff, it drifts along contently in a single worthy manner. Elsewhere, the title, ‘Shards’ sounds horrific in a horror film sort of way, like shards of sharp glass pierced the skin sort of thing, but it’s quite the opposite. ‘Let the candle burn down, while I fall to sleep’ is just one of the many examples of elaborate visuals in this mystical world of Beck Goldsmith. The stable backing makes it less scary with the chorus sounding like an early Florence offering.
Beck Goldsmith has talent, lots of talent actually. With the release of this, her work is only getting more striking and the imagery is getting scarily more vivid. Goldsmith just needs the exposure to carry her through, oh and one or two more upbeat offerings wouldn’t go a miss either. Surprise us on your next offering. We’ve seen dark, let’s see a dabble in a more optimistic affair (with a slight increase in the pace.)
Realeased 5th March.
Review: Enter Shikari – A Flash Flood of Colour’ over on Contactmusic.
Take a look at my review of ‘Actor-Caster’ by Generationals over on Contactmusic.
Review of ‘Given To The Wild’, the brilliant new record from The Maccabees, over on Contact Music.
Young producer, Sam Howard (A.K.A Halls) is on to a winner here with this disorientating 15 minutes of electro/post dub blending. It’s obvious that he’s a perfectionist, with every puzzle piece of loop, instrument and mood slotting into the correct place exactly. The outcome? Well, it’s a funny one. One minute it sounds at peace with itself, content and dreamy, like someone exploring the fluffy and silent depths of Cumulus clouds, especially in ‘Sanctuary.’ But, a wash of wary vocals and what sounds like the frantic malfunction of the sampler later and you don’t know where you are, like in the instrumental ‘Fade To White.’ Dreams and nightmares merge in to one and you’re beached in the woozy world of Halls. The muffled, frank words of ‘I Am Not Who You Want’ ring delicately and the lone glitchy beats that conclude ‘Lifeblood’ are ever-lingering. This track also features some classic piano loops, differing from the long running electronic elements. Sam Howard’s the new kid on the block this year and if he ups his game a tad on the next record with a few more arrangements of confident vocals, we could have another James Blake on our trembling hands.
‘Fragile’ is out on 16th January on The Sound of Sweet Nothing.
Anja McCloskey’s decision to go solo was probably the best decision she has ever made. The former ‘Irrepressibles’ member releases her new single, ‘A Kiss’ next week on Sotones Records and it’s a folky whirlwind of goodness. Anja shows off her elegant vocal and impressive vocal scale, a fitting demonstration of how she is far too talented to be hiding amongst an orchestra of ten people, gaining no real exposure. Her past and vocals aside, the backing in ‘A Kiss’ is a decent run of swishy chamber pop, with McClosky’s accordion playing being her USP. It also features Thomas Tantrum’s David Miatt, who provides an manly contrast to Anja’s sweet sound. B-side ‘Black Coffee’ has a similar understated feel with her dramatic voice and sincere words, ‘You’re so far from the truth,’ 2012 is going to be a good year for folk with influence Sharon Van Etten releasing her third album and Anja already being featured as ‘Track of the Day’ by Q Magazine. It’ll be exciting to see what is in store for Miss McCloskey.
Howler’s ‘America Give Up’ is released on 16th January.