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- Dancing by Nancy Elizabeth
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There’s a dog that lives down our street, they put it out to bark at night. Sometimes for several hours at a time. It drives me mad. Gentle folkie Nancy Elizabeth has a voice that reaches enough dizzy Kate Bush levels of high pitch to prick the ear of 99% of dogs. Her voice is like a flute, it flutters around, it has a very soft timbre like it has been wrapped in towelling. Her music seems to have got a lot more complex since I last listened. It’s less fireside folk and more flitting prog-folk with complex melodies and Jethro Tull-like wooded glade pretensions.
Opener ‘The Last Battle’ starts off Morricone and ends up not dissimilar to some of the songs on CBBC’s ‘Horrible Histories’ as if performed by Pentangle - historic storytelling via the medium of folk music. ‘Heart’ flies slightly into Bat For Lashes territory with obvious debts to Kate Bush, piano-led vocal gymnastics abound, some neat drums keeping the whole thing in check. ‘Simon Says Dance’ is another triumph, utilising piano and synth its repetitive refrain disarms. Nancy Elizabeth has really pushed her music on in the last few years and its much wider in scope and ambitious than previously, possibly the increased melodrama pushes away some of the intimacy of yore but this is a much more fully realised record that is unafraid of variation and some grand statements. It’s a bit like a folk-inflected Bat For Lashes whose quirks have yet to be smoothed away by the major label sandpaper.
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