Black Moon Days is Joanne Robertson’s second record. Her sound is very intimate, singing of troubles and dark thoughts in an untutored but pure voice that suggests acceptance. Playing both electric and acoustic guitar, Robertson captivates. Released on Feeding Tube Records in an edition of 300.
8/10 Robin Staff review, 01 April 2015
Joanna Robertson’s last record, ‘The Lighter’, was a sparse folk record that resisted the urge to go pitch black. Dynamic and compellingly told, it suggested a different kind of songwriter to the one that appears on the bleak, homogenous ‘Black Moon Days’; on this record, it’s as if Robertson’s replaced all of her old experiences with new stories that have to be told at a distance and kept out of view.
Robertson is still an excellent guitar player, one who seeks to get ample force out of every interaction with her instrument: when she strums, it sounds like she’s pulling her strings out of their sockets, and when she hits notes a little off it sounds like an intentional way of drawing up the setting around her: creaking and crooked, broken but inhabitable. ‘Black Moon Days’ is recorded so raw that you can hear shuffling and the general getting on with life in its background, sounds that sound rawer and more clear than Robertson’s far-flung vocals.
Aside from the actual folk music, which sounds like Grouper with more structural motivations, this record has two shockers: “Hi Watt” is an electrically strummed tune with nimble beats featuring none other than laugh-cryer Dean Blunt on production duties; more important, though, is final track “Bricklin”. To describe it defeat its purpose: listen to the whole album, as it was meant to be heard, and then listen to “Bricklin”. I’ve said too much.
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