Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Nancy Elizabeth - Wrought Iron Album Review

Sometimes an album is beatified by a dominant sense of isolation. It happened with Bon Iver’s debut LP, and Nancy Elizabeth has hit on comparably secluded gold dust on her second effort. But whilst For Emma… was cast with anguish, Elizabeth seems blissfully removed from reality and its tribulations on Wrought Iron. Written between the peripheries of the Faroe Islands, a derelict Spanish school and the Lake District, this is a sparse album, dusted with piano, breathy vocals and harmonies, and touches of acoustic guitar, horns and accordion. Opening track, Cairns, recalls the sumptuous instrumental intro on Tindersticks’ The Hungry Saw and sets the tone for eleven tracks of crystalline splendour. The album peaks with Lay Low, but there are highlights throughout. “I need no-one to tread the water with me”, sings Elizabeth on Feet of Courage, and judging by the brilliant fruits of her labour, we have no reason to doubt her.

Written for The Skinny.

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