Saturday, 24 October 2015

Trixie Whitley – Porta Bohemica, album review

Gorgeous Haunt

Trixie Whitley’s latest release is a more refined sound overall than when I first heard her with Daniel Lanois in Black Dub - reviewed here; a Noisetrade Mixtape here - and I miss a little the rawer sound of that vocal, but the tracks on this album are classy, and there are elements of BD’s more sultry singing [and similar atmospheric guitar work] on a song like Eliza’s Smile, where the slow ruminating pace allows the singing to dominate, here with such emotion in the rises and falls across tone and texture. This is a sublime offering, horns near its end adding depth to the brooding tone.

Soft Spoken Words is another atmospheric soundscape of beautiful menace, the soulful vocal chorus ironically heightening the aura with angelic harmony. The vocal expansion here is intense. As I focus on the album’s second half with respectively tracks five and six, seventh New Frontiers is pop-electronic with repeating vocal lines, and eighth Witness layers sweet harmonies over Whitley’s fulsome solo lines.

Closer Visitor is a piano-based, sultry ballad with exquisite vocal. The rasp and soar in the singing is so natural, and so penetrating in its emotive impact. The mention of melancholy is wholly empathised through that sound and also the lyrics of lose thyself in a well of temptation in a puddle of love, as I sip from the grounds of mental alienation. Hauntingly gorgeous.

This is an excellent album from an excellent singer deserving much more recognition. 

Photo: Athos Burez

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