ALBUM: Wendy Rae Fowler – ‘Warped’

For most of us, a musical life spent mixing with the great and good of US alt.rock and British trip-hop might be sufficient. But following a twenty year career of collaborations with Queens Of The Stone Age, Mark Lanegan and UNKLE, Wendy Rae Fowler now brings us her debut solo album: Warped. Now based in the UK, and collaborating with London’s finest (including GIHE fave Jemma Freeman), Fowler has tied together the strands of alternative, experimental rock, from both sides of the Atlantic – and her album has both the cinematic feel of US desert/post-rock and the gloomy clouds of its British cousin.

Opener ‘Hollow’ is an infusion of post-punk and post-rock, with its throbbing electronic motif, aching guitar and vocal distortion in the style of Fever Ray. It’s a style that appears later, on first single ‘Svengali’, although with a darker, fairytale opener, and a move into a trip-hop feel at its close.

 

‘Volcanic’ takes things in a more ethereal direction, still carrying the sense of Bjorkian electronic interference in its spacey heft. Elsewhere, there’s the legacy of other female performers – the goth folk of PJ Harvey’s Is This Desire? and To Bring You My Love on ‘Lying in the Sun’ and ‘Red Dust’; Nina Simone on the cover of ‘Plain Gold Ring’.  

The latter encompasses an element of psych’s dark blues with its multi-percussion particularly reminiscent of GOAT. Second single ‘Run’ and ‘This is Not a Love Song’ take the listener to a twisted version of the old Wild West, with smatterings of twanging guitars and Rawhide cowboy backing vocalists.

Finally, the album concludes with the glistening shine of ‘Hollow Ground’ – a brooding epic instrumental whose electric lights twinkle through a bassy city smog, conjuring a tumble-twist in the mind’s eye of landscapes, both urban and natural. It’s a fitting conclusion to an album of light and shade, of space and density.

A powerful and moreish cocktail of cinematic sounds and bewitching vocals, Warped is a kind of neo-noir soundtrack to a movie that should, but doesn’t yet, exist. Rae Fowler’s sense of narrative is as strong as her musical nous, and her debut is a brilliant continuation of an already storied career.

Warped is out 30th March.

John McGovern
@etinsuburbiaego

Track Of The Day: Amaya Laucirica – ‘All Of Our Time’

If you’re having a stressful day, take comfort in the sweet sounds of Australian musician Amaya Laucirica‘s latest single ‘All Of Our Time’. Taken from her forthcoming album Rituals (which is due for release on the 2nd of March 2018) the track is a gentle, melodic reminder to take a deep breath and let life and love develop at its own pace.

Speaking about the relationship aspect of the song, Amaya explains: “The weakness is that the spontaneity disappears and the fire needs to be reignited over time. The strength is that their love has the patience to endure this time.”

Rituals is Amaya’s fourth album and it follows on from her critically acclaimed 2008 debut Sugar Lights, 2010’s Early Summer (which saw Amaya supporting acts such as Blonde Redhead and Mark Lanegan) and 2014’s Sway. Listen to ‘All Our Time’ below and follow Amaya on Facebook for more updates.

Rituals will be released on March 2nd 2018 via Opposite Number. The album will also be supported by a UK tour including dates to be announced in England, Scotland & Ireland.

Photo Credit: Lauren Bamford

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Suzie Stapleton – ‘Yesterday’s Town’

If “delay-laden guitar riffs and dusty vocals” are your thing, then Suzie Stapleton‘s new track ‘Yesterday’s Town’ is going to tick all of your listening boxes. Born in Australia, Stapleton relocated to London in 2015 and has kept a busy recording schedule on various projects between tours and opening for acts such as Mick Harvey, Mark Lanegan and Boss Hog.

Earlier this year, Stapleton appeared on Lydia Lunch & Cypress Grove’s unlikely covers album Under The Covers (Rustblade Records) lending her voice to several of the tracks. This project was spawned via Stapleton’s collaborations with Cypress Grove on The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project (feat. Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Debbie Harry, Thurston Moore).

To celebrate the release of her new single, Suzie has made ‘Yesterday’s Town’ available as a free download for her fans, which can be accessed via www.suziestapleton.com. She will also be playing a London launch show on November 8th at The Old Blue Last, with more dates live dates to be announced shortly. Until then, you should listen to ‘Yesterday’s Town’ below and follow Suzie on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Steve Gullick

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut