Sound & Vision
This fantastic five track EP from Dragonfly Tattoo, the brainchild of songwriter/vocalist/keyboardist Vicky Whelan, is something pretty special. Deliciously dark, magnificently moody and atmospheric as all get out, it makes for an intoxicating listen. The rumbling bass intro to Mad Cat Woman sets the (somewhat foreboding) tone and as the song builds steadily with crunchy distorted guitars and crashing cymbals the vertiginous increase in intensity is like a gathering storm.
The twisted country style of What You Leave Behind brought to mind T-Bone Burnett and wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the soundtrack for HBO’s True Detective. The song has a noirish quality about it and Whelan’s vocal is like a femme fatale, at once alluring and dangerous. The instrumentation is, again, top notch with a hypnotic rhythm track underpinning organ and cello which complement each other perfectly. Things are stripped back considerably on Spider Song which, with its elegant, swirling classical piano shapes and exposed, unencumbered vocal, has a sparse and spare beauty to it.
The strings and twinkling chimes that open title track, Closer to the Sun nod to trip-hop influences such as Morcheeba and Portishead and, as with elsewhere on the EP the drumming has something of a jazz edge to it. Here piano intertwines with shimmering, reverby guitar and what sounds like some kind of brass, to great effect. At a fairly epic six and a half minutes the song again shows how, as a songwriter and arranger, Whelan is particularly adept with a dynamic and dramatic crescendo. The piano led final track, Before You Leave the Road, has a striking simplicity to its structure and is vocally outstanding. Overall Dragonfly Tattoo’s Closer to the Sun EP ticks many boxes. Instrumentally, it exhibits sterling work by all involved and it boasts some very impressive production with a deep, rich resonance that draws you
There is a noir-ish quality about it and Whelan’s vocal is like a femme fatale, at once alluring and dangerous in. For a frame of reference, in terms of sound and feel, I’d consider comparable artists to be the likes of PJ Harvey, Tom Waits, maybe a little Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, a bit Tori Amos but most especially Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, so if you’re a fan of that lot you’ll find much to enjoy here. The EP is available from the group’s Bandcamp and the EP launch gig will be at The Regency in Harrogate on Friday 18th July. This really is a show not to be missed.
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Published on Jun 20, 2014
The July 2014 edition of North Leeds Life for LS6 LS16 & LS18 bringing you all the latest news and events from your local area. North Leeds...