Mesmerising album from singer and drummer collaboration.
'You Follow Me' sees veteran singer songwriter Nina Nastasia joining up with drummer Jim White who has previously worked with the likes of Smog, Will Oldham and PJ Harvey. Nastasia's fifth album, the concept for the record was born after some low key gigs between the pair.
'I've Been Out Walking' exhibits a pared down sound whilst still managing to create a memorable melody, something that happens consistently throughout the album. The pair's musical chemistry is indicated from the outset and Nina's brooding, often melancholy voice easily suits the guitar and drums set up. The song features a dark rhythm and lyrics which seem to be concerned with what isn't anticipated. The wonderfully titled 'I Write Down Lists', is similarly dark, with its discussion of everything being in the correct place suggesting a deep obsession with order.
'Odd Said the Doe' has more of a lullaby feel to it with simple strumming building to a more layered sound as the song progresses. Despite the more upbeat tone the vocals and lyrics hint of a darker undertone with the chorus being "Am I to believe that it's you, following me?" Unsurprisingly given its name, 'The Day I Would Bury You' is a rather sombre affair that develops rather beautifully with its poetic lyrics overshadowing the macabre undercurrent of resentment at the core of the song.
'In the Evening' trundles along with a lighter sounding heart as its acoustic folk sound still manages to be both melodic and fairly noisy. 'There is No Train' is another to reflect the darkness of the album, with a soft and slow lament of yearning. 'Late Night' is similar with its stripped bare sound revealing a song filled with anguished lines such as "why didn't you break? Did you even try?" and "blood on your face, I'm gonna cry". 'How Will You Love' me is a gorgeously sensitive tale on an album with an overflowing cup of poetic beauty.
The album finale 'I Come After You' is more of a scathing attack, seemingly an attack on a scorned lover. With lines like "a sober night would do you good" and "you're here because she is new, and she won't even mention you" suggest the relationship breakdown was probably not an easy one. But the inspiration behind the emotional blow this album deals is largely irrelevant, what does matter is what an amazing blow that is. Each song here is mesmerising in its beauty and every venture into the exquisite pain of Nina Nastasia's soul is well worth the journey. One of the first great contenders for album of the year, and that isn't something I say in each review. Truly special.