Funny, witty, disarming, atmospheric, melancholic, sunny, spacious, beautiful, reflective, unexpected, multilayered, mysterious, unpretentious, as addictive as all her other releases... Is that 20 words yet? I'm smitten!
Serafina Steer is a real talent, clever but not annoyingly so and an unquestionable musianship. Clever lyrics that don't follow the usual verse chorus routine and just stunning songs. Reminded me somewhat of the stuff that The Ravishing Beauties were doing in the early 80's, but that is no bad thing.
Serafina Steer's latest offering builds on her reputation and adds to the mix. Jarvis Cocker is on production duties and there is a real breadth here on display. For those who don't know Serafina she is a harp player with singer songwriter tendancies towards the more folky end of the musical spectrum. She has a very listenable voice which seems familiar. The arrangements are sparse and there is a real good emphasis on melody and there are some strong numbers on here. Some are surprising as well.
The album starts with folk leaning strings on Night Before Mutiny and Machine Room. Lyrically there is also a lot going on as well. Lady Fortune is another folky number with just a slow build and great delivery. You might be thinking Joanna Newsom here, but the songs are shorter and far more accessible for the most part and more diverse. I keep saying diverse as you will think you will have this pegged on first listen as a singer songwriter folk influenced album. until you reach the final third. Island Odessy starts moving the folk into the new age and then, almost magically, Disco Compilation come in quietly as a folk number and turns into a full blown dance number - this could be a crossover hit if it gets airplay as it truly is a wonderful number. Think Suzanne Vega and Tom's Diner and how that was different - that's what this is.
It doesn't all work. However, there is enough here that pulls at your ears for repeated listens that makes this well worth checking out. 2013 has just started very well.
First heard "Night before mutiny" on Guy Harvey's 6 Music show and thought it was absolutely wonderful. Album lives up to this initial listen. As another receiver has already said, completely beguiling.