Powerdove – Be Mine

I have to confess that I kind of thought it might be a while before I wrote a glowing review of this kind of music.  The thing with swings in fashion is that it’s not just the whims of fans and reviewers which shift, but the musicians themselves.

So the next time there isn’t enough loud or electronic or guitary or folky or jazzy or whatever music in the press for you, don’t just blame the writers, often the musicians themselves are equally complicit – the best ones are often off doing something else.

Currently, most of my favourite musicians are off getting loud, so the hush of this record and its immediate and obvious beauty rather surprised me. Quite apart from the slow delivery of Lewandowski’s vocal, it is the pace of plucked strings which define the rhythm of this record.  Originally written for solo guitar and vocals, it is not just the guitar strings, but also the added upright double bass which drip slowly into the recordings and make this so impossibly still.

You know how you are told as a child to walk briskly across narrow ledges or planks or anything so precarious you might struggle to retain your balance?  Well this is like watching someone dawdle across such a highwire with not a care in the world, stopping to adjust their pigtails, wondering if they’ve forgotten something, absent-mindedly watching two birds squabble nearby… in short, it’s so slow that it feels like a constant wonder it doesn’t fall to its death.

Embellishing Lewandowski’s wonderful songs are Jason Hoopes’ graciously sparing upright bass, and the percussion and noise of Alex Vittum.  Vittum’s array of sounds makes him sound more like someone wielding a bank of field recordings than someone playing percussion, and the contribution of the collage of sounds behind the songs is what makes this a really compelling album for me.

Powerdove – Sickly City
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/Powerdove-SicklyCity.mp3] 

Powerdove – Spinnin’ Daisy
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/Powerdove-SpinninDaisy.mp3]

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