Last Girl On Earth – Deni Bonet (M.R2 Records)
The CD cover of this Singer/Songwriter/Violinist’s new release gives a clever hint into the ambiguity and essence of her creations. The artist, dressed in black, lies in a field of warm brown and red instruments, except for the one she holds in her hand, which is a delicate COLD blue.
We already know, before even reading the revealing song titles, that there will be a gleeful mix of the sharp and the gentle.
Opening track ‘Is This A Test’ juggles feisty brash guitar, with a pure pop knowledge and delightfully the violin isn’t thrown head of the mix, but subtly swings around the edges of one of the few songs about fear written this year you can dance crazy to.
Bonet isn’t afraid to poke fun at her persona and her relationships, deep in the security of self knowledge and ability to write about love without feeling self conscious.
After a quirky cover of a soul/disco classic (Cameo’s ‘Word Up) we venture further leftfield with an intriguing take of scattered overheard conversations, showing us again the unease that twirls just inside the so called ordinary.
We encounter two versions of the track ‘Last Girl On Earth’ and for me the sparse piano/string driven thing works the best, showcasing once more the fragile hesitation, balancing tightrope like, with the strong smile/shrug.
We come now to my two favourite tracks on the album. ‘It Sucks But It’s True’ has a glorious edge to it, allowing the writers irritation to become a ragged changeling of an alt rock song.
And finally ‘Fuck It’ a sweet foul mouthed anthem, destined to be sung in cars and bars and stadiums, with pride and drunken vigour.
Lantana – Caroline Herring ( Signature Sounds)
In the calm detachment of the ‘selfish girl’, she reveals, song by song, a dangerous beautiful world. Caroline Herring lives, watches and creates in a moonlit isolation, kept still by faded promises and dreams full of diamond light refractions/reflections.
This is a world of ghosts who made the sad choices, often the wrong choices and now float through the country evenings broken, yet pure.
The singer loves these ghosts, these ‘Heroines’ she shows us the strength, the power, of the lover, the fair and tender ladies.
In her songs of doomed characters, it would be oh so simple to label the singer as country gothic, but her music, her thoughts transcend such stereotypes, and we are haunted by a world that exists, like a half forgotten lullaby on a stormy night, between the verses.
Once in her world we are captured. Seduced.
Her shadows become our bed sheets, her words a dream we do not want to end.
Lantana is a place I shall visit often.