The NBT Review 22


 Dag För Dag (Pre-Release EP)

Within the tension of the restrained feedback, do we hear playground ghosts?

The girl sings loud fierce in empty spaces, abandoned industrial rooms, there seems to be no standing still, arms in self hug internal, but a glorious dance and sway.

The echo of the drama, the theatre of the letting go.

Post rock, Post Modern, post sticky useless labels, a touch of young marble giants here, a shatter of newNew wave, beautiful voice and dirty guitars, Isolated Pirates on a scrawled animated Sea.

Then fragile Words. A country ballad refracted, reflected, distorted; the harmonies of light and dark.

Thank God it’s better now, this indie world, where subtle dark moments created with such seeming ease can drift across our computers and our homes, new best friends in the hard days to come.

A superb collection.

Catch the band across Europe and at the SXSW festival and watch out for a review of their upcoming gig with the Handsome Furs at Gebaude 9 in Cologne in April.

Look/Listen closer

Dark Mist EP – Marilyn Roxie (Independent Release)

Ahh, the heartbreak of the clockwork toy. As a child I couldn’t help but notice that even the jolliest of tunes was somehow rendered some what melancholic when played from a music box and in the opening track of this EP Marilyn Roxie captures that feeling with sweet simplicity.

This is a set of miniature sound poems, soundtracks perhaps to long lost TV shows, fragmented by the click of the remote, making a secret kinda sense as they flicker across midnight heavy living rooms.

Some are gone before we even realize it, leaving but a spirit, an essence of otherworldly loss and emotion, others are more complicated, sliding the fear and the danger and the soul across us, trapping us willingly deep into their stories.

Stand out track for me is Green Leather with its intimate eastern tinges and seductive swoon.

Minimal as this fine music is, in each tune there remains, in each new listen, a wealth of images and thoughts to discover.

Go to Marilyn Roxie’s MySpace and get this and many more EPS. And read her great blog as well

(Love) An Asylum Amongst The Convulsions – Jordan T West (Independent Release)

This has been the long slow sultry season of the male/female Duet, especially for those who craft their songwriting with a country or shy folk slant, and the opening track of this thoughtful collection continues this trend.

In ‘The Procreation Song’, as well several other tracks here, West’s whispering vocals are counterpointed by the haunting clarity of Lindy Enns, at once removing the clutter of preconceptions and inviting the listener to join in this small circle of casual confessions.

As we continue into ‘lucky number 9` the isolated instruments warmly join together, sliding into introspective side of jaunty, and when the sad violin sneaks up to, lies down with, the minimal percussion of stand out track ‘Heart Hurts’ we are moved, captured and confided with.

The lyrics set out personal sagas of ambiguity, people do sad, silly hurtful things, but the singer remains hopeful, remains true to the power of what love might bring him, them, and us.

There is strength in this gentleness.

Find out more here


Hush – Claire Holley (Independent Release)

It starts with an escape.

A solitary woman alone but not alone, the world around her perfectly described and formed within the song.

Then as if old photos of happy people burn strangely into something else, we wonder about the unspoken tragedy(in the minds eye,  a double image of funerals superimposed )that lies throbbing, thrumming at the heart of ‘Wedding Day’.

The skill of the songwriting is breathtaking.

These are songs that Neko  Case or even Chan Marshall would be proud of, showing a attention to detail and atmosphere and proudly sigh fully entranced with the  sound of country music storytelling.

From the blues tinged ‘Stars fell on Alabama’ to the Guitar driven gentle instrumental, the haunting ‘Going West’ this performer never falters , never sinks into cliché.

It ends with an escape.

Into the comfort of dreams, safe in the knowledge of the mothers love, the song’s love. We watch we listen, from the doorway perhaps, and calmness descends.

Investigate further

Hear all these artists next week on the NBT Podcast (20th Feb)









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