Alternative music reviews


The Night You Came To Me March 2005

The second single from Doncaster's slice of Americana, Laconic. I loved the first single and gave it a gushing review. There's a BBC audio interview that also includes all 3 tracks from the first EP as Real Audio - take a listen to it and marvel at the songs.

The first track The Night You Came to Me takes a little while to get going before Jenny shows off her voice and adds real bite and passion. The absolute highlight is Be My Nightime which is a slow, romantic number, musically like later Whiskeytown. Imagine a female equivalent of Ryan Adams on Stranger's Almanac but with a vocal range beyond his - then you might get close to describing what Jenny of Laconic can do. The last track is Rapture Falling that works hard on atmosphere and is played beautifully with enough great vocal hooks to scar your heart.

This feels a bit hurried because I will carry on listening to this EP long past after I've posted this review. Perhaps not as strong songs as the first EP but still excellent. What we have here is something a good melodic alt-country band with a singer who is astonishing. The human voice, at it's best, is capable of betraying and evoking emotions, using a range of sounds and textures no other instrument can approach - and Jenny from Laconic has one of the most expressive voices you could ever hope to hear.

3 Track EP May 2004

Three songs, beautifully played and sung. When I say sung I mean WE HAVE A SINGER HERE. Think Grace Braun, Laura Cantrell, and even Stevie Nicks (I know...but a good voice). Even hints of Dolly Partons vocal brilliance - and that's the highest praise I can give. The vibrato is astonishing and there's a range of expression when lines of the songs start romantic and end gritty. The sort of voice and songs that just turn you to mush inside. The music is not an English pastiche of American country music - no reworking of cliches. Just simple, delicate, atmospheric and supportive. Who said the English can't play country? I'm eating my words. Doncaster, so much to answer for...

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