Dearest Sister, Leave Me Be, ACT ****

Too little to go on here but Collective Heart will be the full story in the autumn when the actual album comes out. Can't wait because there are decent crumbs to cling on to, however, meanwhile. The piano intro on 'Those Who Are Near' appeals like …

Published: 11 Jun 2022. Updated: 24 days.

Too little to go on here but Collective Heart will be the full story in the autumn when the actual album comes out. Can't wait because there are decent crumbs to cling on to, however, meanwhile. The piano intro on 'Those Who Are Near' appeals like something you'd hear on a Kate Bush record. And it is the first Trojan horse towards acceptance. But of course there is nothing at all edgy here. You might dear ''jazz herd'' stampede for the hills given the smörgåsbord of toothsomeness. Fair enough but you may have to retreat once you realise the chord changes and structures of the songs are interesting and the drama of 'Leave Me Be' could teeter into anarchy if we are lucky.

If you like Beady Belle you will probably like this although it is less soulful. The diction in the vocals is muddy shrouded in interesting layers of sonic dressing so you won't really detect too much of what the singers are actually on about which is a pity. But that doesn't matter so much overall weirdly enough.

German label ACT's continuing quest for a new vocals project to believe in may have thrown up a better lead than toiling in the over populated windmills of your mind as is sometimes their wont going for more classic material. The house that Siggi built isn't really a vocals-constructed outfit although post-Lochdown and a new broom coming in to help the great records man, ACT may ring the changes and after all they have put out plenty of fine singers over the years. Their last great discovery was the adventurous Solveig Slettahjell.

''ABBAtars'' are all over the news at the moment and may point people to any project featuring vocals from Sweden. But this is not that demographic at all no matter how middle-of-the-road it ostensibly is.

The Almcrantz and Hatanmaa-penned 'Leave Me Be' is the best track. You feel that you have heard it all before when the plaintive horn of Ellen Pettersson rises up on 'Collective Heart' but all is not quite what it seems. Andrea Hatanmaa's lead vocals have a spooky sense of The Corrs to them in all yearningness. Who knew? The 5-piece throw off their Eurovision-esque shackles completely on 'Confusion of Reality' again that Corrs comparison leaps to mind (Björk even, the more you buy into the warped logic of the Sister sound). Against all odds and your better instincts ultimately you get drawn into the Sister's spider web, again lost-all-reason song aptly enough 'Confusion of Reality' is where it gets interesting. And that's because this is like a real band and more than singers and a few geezers mysteriously to have turned up to loll uselessly at the back which is a very different thing entirely. SG. Dearest Sister, photo: ACT

Donate

Tags:

Preview: Empirical, Kings Place, London - tonight at 8

Back in April we were much struck by the pulsating 'Giants' from Empirical's EP Like Lambs, the London quartet's first new music in some three years. While it is true that the EP (or mini-album if you prefer) isn't the most satisfying of formats …

Published: 10 Jun 2022. Updated: 25 days.

Next post

Back in April we were much struck by the pulsating 'Giants' from Empirical's EP Like Lambs, the London quartet's first new music in some three years. While it is true that the EP (or mini-album if you prefer) isn't the most satisfying of formats given its brevity this release from the vibes and alto saxophone-flavoured adventurous acoustic hard bop quartet more than punched above its weight. Let's hope a full album is in the works for future release.

Certainly founder member drummer Shaney Forbes in particular who wrote three of the pieces on Like Lambs has been busy gigging in a lot in different bands separate to the main project. For instance one of the last times we heard him was as a member of sax icon Jean Toussaint's heavyweight JT4 in the autumn. The other founder member Nat Facey, probably the UK's greatest living jazz alto saxophonist, was also in fine form at the A Great Day in London concert in December and before that playing the music of Joe Harriott with the Nu Civilisation Orchestra last summer also in Kings Place, that time in the bigger room.

Tonight this top-class always sartorially elegant four-piece, completed by, out-of-Norwich, ''east angular'' vibist Lewis Wright and effortlessly virtuosic bassist Tom Farmer, launch the EP in Hall 2 of the King's Cross venue which is housed underneath The Guardian offices. Tickets. marlbank photo

Donate