Kindest of Thieves – Ladies & Gentlemen, My Sweetheart the LonelyChris Fox under his Kindest of Thieves persona has adopted widely varying sounds within his relatively short history. Initially, taking a direct, whooping and hollering blues rock path, influences of White Stripes and Black Keys evident, before adopting more restrained, melodic tones with additional lyrical gravitas, in almost rock-a-billy Morrissey mode. Within this latest six track EP release, a definite amalgamation of both protrudes although from a much deeper, darker place. Production is lo-fi, working cadaverously well within opening track “One True Love” the distorted tones complimenting a countrified guitar twang, although appearing initially to detract from the lighter timbres of “There’s something not quite right with Rosie” or “(The Blood of) Nancy- Jane” that is, until further investigation begins to shed a stark half-light. An image forms….. a very disturbed image, tormented artist records within the constraints of macabre surroundings, shadowy and forbidding, water mixed with blood dripping from walls, claustrophobic room populated with instruments of torture, breaks only facilitated for acts of self-flagellation before returning to confess, graphic scenes being projected aurally, “Smelling of strangers and praying for rain, to wash from my hands the blood of Nancy Jane,” or “There’s something not quite right with Rosie, she likes to drop acid while we fuck. ”
Exactly the state of mind Chris Fox wrote these latest songs, difficult to speculate, although a further title “I Almost Lost My Mind” suggests this not his easiest body of work to assemble while producing far from the easiest of listens. One however, which over time, proves passionately revealing in a voyeuristic-ally enjoyable manner……..intriguing to say the very least. Get it here:
Exile Parade – Alcohol
Just when you’ve searched all the best offers around on festive booze, up pop Exile Parade with a new song available as a free download at their Bandcamp page. “Alcohol” finds the Warrington quintet in tender, less abrasive musical mode although lyrically uncompromising, a cautionary tale centred around dependency, which burrows slowly, but incessantly into the mind.
Christine Owman – Familiar Act
Released this week, “Familiar Act” lead track from Christine Owman’s forthcoming album ‘Little Beast’ is a beautifully stark, minimalistic piece of work. Simplistic strings meld with atmospheric backing and Owman’s sensuously breathy vocals create an aura of pure intensity, futher enhanced via the contrasting gravelly guest vocals of Mark Lanegan. Stunning in it’s simplicity.