Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Esben and the Witch

Violet Cries

Matador Records

Musically this debut album from this UK band, is delightful. If early Cocteau Twins had been harder and harsher, that would be one element to Esben’s sound, combined with the drive, power and mysticism of early Siouxsie and the Banshees. Rachel Davies, Esben’s lead singer and bassist, even sounds a bit like Siouxsie. And very few of these songs include drums, which makes their sonics even more arresting.

But it’s also their optimism, their determined, steely angrily optimistic lyrics, that make this band fresh and different. They want to be happy so badly, and will stop at nothing to be happy. There is also a strange sort of kindness here, too, the kind that will kill. By the end of the album, they are violently blissful, if one can be that, and that state of mind is very refreshing. Let this album be a confidence booster to anyone trying to overcome a bad situation. [http://esbenandthewitch.co.uk/notebook]

Andrea Weiss

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