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Evi Vine

..and so the morning comes

www.evivine.com

After the Saturday morning Brazilian Lounge compilation I’ve been playing this sunny morning to get myself in easy active motion, this set sends a chill through the soul. Mind you, the bleached out haunted face of our artist on the cover does give an immediate Blair Witch tone to the record. Having featured on vocals with The Eden House, Ms Vine now presents this collection being ten new compositions.

Evi has in recent times played in all sorts of places – including Glastonbury, Latitude and Secret Garden Party festivals but also cafes in Paris and folk-oriented venues in Italy and Germany. When the guys that did work on visuals for ‘The Matrix’ and ‘Fight Club’ hear your music and are immediately inspired to create videos based thereon, you are not just looking good but sounding cool as well…

Aided by Steven Hill a band colleague, Vine has crafted these songs, layering up sounds and often on an experimental basis and with Evi playing most of the instrumental contributions. The result is thoughtful set of numbers and no slick attempt at stadium glory. These cuts are perfect for radio 6 late-night mellow shows, though with more live shows coming up there’ll surely be an effort to play at least some of these compositions live ?

‘For the Dreamers’ opens the album, a murmer of quasi-orchestral legato tones building to a solemn guitar..yes, it does put pictures in the mind. Dark forests and mist, mainly. Then a soft and almost breathy vocal set against keyboard twinkles and coasting cello’s. Kate Bush without the early days overkill ?  ‘Down’ is again reflective, slightly throatier singing and again against an ethereal sonic backdrop. ‘Inside Her’ has a curious keyboard tone figure and gentle strumming. A totally conspiratorial vocal delivery, almost a whisper but a gorgeous melody and chord progression, so haunting it almost aches. It slips into a  somewhat brighter arpeggio’d passage, a bit of a gem this one.

A harp brings in “Colours of the Night’, Vine singing in pure folk vein here with a hint of a quaver phasing into falsetto and still in the overall dreamy vibe of the set ; ‘For You’ has an icy insistence and another soft and catchy melodic pattern that has distant echo of Judy Collins the early Elektra American folk goddess especially on the middle-eight with its neat double tracked but still held-back vocal. ‘Kiss’ caresses your ears at a slumber of a tempo and has easily the best singing on the record, you can tell she has her heart and soul in the lyric. You just want to hug her !  ‘In This Moment’ runs it a close second as a touching tale, if this stuff is autobiographical, Vine has spent time in Pain Central….

The most relaxed vocal is on “How Time Flies’ with a ripple of a backing and steady rhythm, not a trace of the self-consciousness that sometimes occurs on other tracks. I’d play this to a listener as a taster, maybe it’s a potential single ? ‘All The Beauty’ sees the record out in spaced-out childlike fashion and a wintery backdrop. Well, she was never going to break out the banjo and washboard for a jolly singalong finale, was she ?

A dream in sound form and subtle in its vocal execution, this album’s glacial fragility may be difficult to present live on stage, I think. But the record attains what it sets out to do, so all credit for that.

Pete Sargeant      www.fairhearing.co.uk

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