Chantal Acda is a singer-songwriter of the folk persuasion, but her version of that cliché is a little bit different: under the name Sleepingdog, she's collaborated with drone artist Adam Wiltzie to make sparse, ambient-leaning records such as 'Polar Life'. Her first solo record (made with contributions from Nils Frahm), 'Let Your Hand Be My Guide', is accompanied by 'Live In Dresden', which offers up six renditions of tracks from the record. As ever, Acda's music is recommended for fans of Low, Stars of the Lid and falling asleep to beautiful music.
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- Live In Dresden by Chantal Acda
8/10 Mike Staff review, 19 September 2014
I've had a few cerebral, difficult or otherwise disappointing records to write about this week but I'm soothing my poor aching bonce right now with this latest offering from Belgium-based Dutch chanteuse Chantal Acda. After a couple of albums in the early '00s as Chacda, she teamed up with Star of the Lid Adam Wiltzie to form Sleepingdog for the tail end of that decade before finally recording a solo album under her own name, last year's 'Let Your Hands Be My Guide', which featured contributions from those trusty bastions of good taste Frahm and Brodders.
In keeping with her habit of collaborating with big hitters, there's a dEUS member onstage with her on this gorgeous companion piece to that album, the six-song 'Live In Dresden'. Acda's clear, plangent voice is very much the focus here, though, with a capable trio backing her in these delicate, intimate takes on the album tracks. Highlights come in the form of the wistful 'Own Time' with its softly brushed drums, heavy-hearted fingerpicking and a simple, uncluttered vocal that brings to mind Mimi from Low, and the more experimental 'My Night' which follows it with clicky dub-echoed xylophone dinks and percussive clicks alongside a smoky trail of Knopfler-esque guitar while Acda's clear, pure voice soars sadly alongside.
If you like your singer/songwriter fare sad, pretty and impeccably tasteful, you've probably already got this on your "want" list.
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