The Warm Inventions’ first album in 7 years with Hope Sandoval from Mazzy Star, and who recently surfaced on the Massive Attack’s new single The Spoils. Bluesy and warm groove in a smokey lounge bar setting, jazzy twinkling keys, whammy barred guitar slides. Features a duet with Kurt Vile on Let Me Get There.
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"Including single 'Let Me Get There' featuring Kurt Vile" screams the sticker on the front but don't let that put you off. Vile's tune-free caterwauling may have proved an uncomfortable fit with Sandoval's chocolate brown tones and general air of shoulder shrugging inconsequentiality but when she's left to her own devices here then things are generally business as usual.
The opening 'Into the Trees' is absolutely superb. Any worries I may have had following the earlier single are washed away in several minutes of delightfully dreamy slo-mo drone-pop. Based around an undulating organ, some washy percussion (by Colm O Ciosoig of My Bloody Valentine who also co-writes much of this) and eerie distant sounds washing in and out of the mix, Sandoval whispers 'I miss you' into your thankful ear. Well this is worth the admission price alone. What an exotic, erotic piece of music.
Elsewhere 'The Peasant' is a lovely Laurel Canyon shuffle much more straightforward and less esoteric but still enjoyable, on 'A Wonderful Seed' Sandoval sings in a high pitched little girl voice that is almost indecent over gently picked harp and vocal. The production is generally clear and crisp as Californian mountain water but with a little more murk Sandoval excels. The two chord shrug of 'Treasure' is as close as things get to Mazzy Star, 'The Hiking Song' is another extremely intimate piece of music, that incredible voice over finger picked guitar and a melody which is reminiscent of Nico's never bettered 'Eulogy for Lenny Bruce'. When a cello and viola enter the fray half way through the effect is so mesmerising I think I'm going to have to go for a lie down.
Sandoval is a singular talent. There are various moments here that remind us how her music reaches a kind of nirvana that other artists can't get near. It drifts, it wanders about, it doesn't follow any kind of set pattern. It's better when it's slightly weirder and disconcerting but it's hard to even pigeonhole what it is or what it's not, it just is. And I'm glad it is.
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