Tension runs through this record like fire in bush land. And although the LP is, for the most part, a set of quiet tracks, that shouldn’t put you off as the emotional temperature is set high.
A cracker of an album! Miss Anthropy’s last one was good but this, frankly, knocks it into a cocked hat. The opener After It All, is a true masterpiece, reminding me of, (but a whole sight better than) the Sundays’ debut LP from way back – albeit stripped of all the dreamy kack. Or maybe Massive Attack if they were a folk band: the LP certainly utilises the same melody patterns. Comparisons aside, this opener is a stunner: the determined guitar line and the angsty beat prop up a melancholy, ghostly melody that’s almost whispered into your ear. It’s mesmeric, especially when there’s that slightly dissonant slightly wonky chord shift. Clever, slightly off-key counterpoints and tonal shifts are also noticeable in Sign, Electricity and Parasite.
Tension runs through this record like fire in bush land. And although the LP is, for the most part, a set of quiet tracks, that shouldn’t put you off as the emotional temperature is set high, there’s no fol de roy nonsense or whimsy or silly games, as, (just as with her last LP), we get a whole set of needle sharp observations delicately wrapped within a cocoon of fret work and subtle, emotional rhythms. And although the beat is for the most part content to take up a position in the background, it often gives a song a nudge in the most imperceptible of manners: when things kick up a gear in Dark and Light or when it creates a heartbeat in the back of A Man.
But we can surely agree it’s hard hitting and effective stuff, can’t we? Listen to the affecting We Can’t Undo; where the emotional weight of the subject matter seems to reduce the vocals to a bare croak. Or the incredibly Gothic Two People, a song which seems to drip with the accumulated emotional grime of centuries. Or Fall, which ratchets up the emotional pressure as it goes on. For those wanting something a bit lighter, Deep Underground is as close as we get to a pop song. It’s brilliant but yet again it’s not looking to please.
Listen in. It’s extraordinary stuff.