Simone White – Silver Silver

If anything Silver Silver reminds me of one those crossover pastoral modern folk LPs, pastoral works like Iren Lovasz and Teagrass’s Wide is the Danube, say.

 

Honest John’s Records http://www.konkurrent.nl

 

A really good, occasionally great record full of moods and airs, Silver Silver creeps up on you guilelessly, its apparent insularity and indifference being the Trojan horse that unleashes broad, enticing sweeps of sound and melody which capture the listener. And White can certainly pen a memorable tune and there are some cracking pop songs on here.

It’s a subtle record, dependent on your frame of mind. You get the feeling that White is happy for mood to drive the LP’s message; matters are often obliquely noted, though the lyrics can be frank and disarming at times, as in the songs of love like Never Be That Tough or the death of a close friend such as Flowers in May. The second part of this LP almost dissolves in a haze of indeterminate soundscapes, harmonious tones and unbroken passages of melodic textures: the sensual, heavy lidded nature of tracks such as Bonnie Brae create a mental picture akin to a marsh at sunset - with the songs playing the roles of beacons, winking softly in the gloaming. Only the beautiful In the Water Where the City Ends and the last track, Every Little Now and Then bring some clarity to the sonic landscape.

Still, I would hesitate to use the word ambient in relation to these tracks. These pieces are intermezzos of a sort, counterpointing the simple, open hearted singsongs like Big Dreams and The Headlines. White obviously likes to stretch her undoubted gift for melody, trying to challenge it with tricks and clever arrangements. She’s obviously dissatisfied with just repeating the template that brought her fame in the first place: (We Didn’t Know is the closest we get to the Beep Beep song if you’re interested). Now and again things do get a little precious (Long Moon or Never Be that Tough) but overall the balance and judgement is spot on.

If anything Silver Silver reminds me of one those crossover pastoral modern folk LPs, pastoral works like Iren Lovasz and Teagrass’s Wide is the Danube, say. Other comparisons can be made: the title track with its tremulous, gentle and pastoral string arrangements is set up like a Nick Drake track off Bryter Later and What The Devil Brings is a simple song that opens up like an exotic flower – reminiscent of the Durutti Column’s The Guitar and Other Machines in the use of effects and samples.

Damn fine listen, m’lud.