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Emily Jane White’s fourth album in as many years is an echo-drenched and vaporous affair, and something of a departure from her earlier, PJ Harvey-influenced, guitar-driven sound.
From the first track, ‘My Beloved’, we are transported, somewhat disconcertingly, into a place akin to a damp-walled bat cave by the sea. Her voice whispers and rebounds as though lost in a chasm of darkly saturated, salt-dripping hollowness, and the guitar and strings (equally ramped up in the reverb department) offer a mournful glimpse into a fractured, bewildering world.
Perhaps it’s the sparse-yet-sodden instrumentation which weaves itself around White’s ghostly voice like a supernatural spider web. Or perhaps it's the splintered, fragmented lyrics (the songs were constructed as a series of perceived sketches rather than bearing any traditional meaning, a device this particular juror is still out on), but ‘Blood / Lines’ is largely an unsettled piece and, ultimately, the bat cave isn’t the most comfortable of places.
Which is no bad thing really. Who wouldn’t want to languish in the dark on a jagged stone floor with the cold sea lapping at their toes and Marissa Nadler gently ‘oohing’ in the background? Exactly.
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