Irish artist Birgid Mae Power follows up her 2016 self-titled LP with The Two Worlds. Her expressive voice, gently warbling with more than a little Americana, could as well be likened to Grace Slick as to Elizabeth Fraser, although neither capture her entirely. On the excellent lead single ‘Don’t Shut Me Up (Politely)’ she sounds weary, indignant and assertive against misogynistic conceit, singing over droning guitar and a dusty, rumbling drum section.
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Hell yeah. I can remember fragments of older Brigid Mae Power records, but this one takes what they tend to call ‘the cake’. Assured in her slow, growing songs, and better than ever at stretching a melody over a slow motion country rock time lapse, she offers her best record to date, offering both the merest of brushes and the most striking force. Low can eat their heart out -- this record is slowcore dynamite.
Is there a portmanteau for when a record’s lush as hell and also densely populated by swamp water? ‘The Two Worlds’ feels gorgeous and involving, and right now I’m thinking specifically about “Don’t Shut Me Up Politely”, where you find yourself having to wade through her song, the soaring vocals and spacious production augmented with a sticky bass line and instrumentation that sounds like it’s been held together by a finger trap. “As So You’ve Seen My Limit” is a lovely piano ballad scattered by cymbal scatters, Power’s lovely, go-where-they-will melodies kept stuffy by the room.
I wanna do the thing I do where I chalk up a great record’s magic to good bass lines: the instrument is an instant fireplace cozy on a record already warm in atmosphere. Really, it’s everything: the grainy hiss, the Grouper-esque piano murmurations, the distant but claustrophobic production, and most importantly, an incredible set of both meditative and expressive songs from Brigid Mae Power.
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- The Two Worlds by Brigid Mae Power
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