Monday, September 20, 2010

With Blasphemy So Heartfelt - EOTR 2010 - Part 4

When, some six months ago, I was reading the growing list of confirmed artists for End Of The Road 2010 (EOTR 2010) this was yet another from the US that made me wonder, and then realize, just how music of this genre is experiencing a surge in popularity here in the UK.  I had intended to get the album 'With Blasphemy So Heartfelt' but for one reason or another it slipped my mind.
Once I saw the full running order of acts, just a few weeks ago, it leapt back into my consciousness but rather than buy the album I determined to see her perform live first.  This was in direct contrast to Caitlin Rose, for example, as I had bought 'Own Side Now' a few weeks before EOTR.  In retrospect I don't think it makes much difference - I enjoyed both artists live and also like both the albums - though the perspective, and perhaps expectation, is subtly different if one hears an artist live before hearing anything that they have recorded.
One thing to mention: this is not remotely uplifting song writing. She actually said her own music makes her sad and that she wasn't born to write cheerful songs.  
That it not to say that one should only listen to them at times of euphoria; indeed they might then seem a little out of place. They could, however, find a welcome in the heart of anyone feeling down-on-their-luck for whatever reason.
The slogan on her cap very succinctly carries the theme.

The sense of loss, and sometimes loneliness, was enhanced by the fact that what you see above is the whole set-up.  The drum kit is a merely a reminder of that which had come before - the atmospheric and warm folk-electronica of the aptly-named five-piece Fuzzy Lights that I had also seen. The contrast was a good example of just how an artist can set the tone for the performance and hence the audience.

She performed the whole set accompanying herself on acoustic guitar.  It was some experience and one that is difficult to describe - often brittle and confessional but never something irretrievably depressive. I can only imagine that it is a fine line to tread.  You might say that this is something calculated, even manufactured, but my inclination is to think that it is nothing of the kind.  If I'm wrong then so be it; an even more remarkable achievement would be to feign it so convincingly.

She also revealed that she had just completed the recording of her second record 'Tell Me' due sometime in early spring 2011 if all goes according to plan, and that has to be worth the anticipation. I have seen a fair number of live performances in 2010 and I'm fortunate in that many of them have been very good indeed.  When, in a couple of months time, I try making choices about the most impressive of those that I have seen this is one that will certainly still be in my mind.

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