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jessica bailiff & annelies monseré - Untitled EP
For this gorgeous release, Kranky's Jessica Bailiff joins Belgian songwriter Annelies Monsere for a collaboration over four tracks of adventurous songwriting. The odd, zoned-out vocals of 'Common Ground' are set against a background noise of buzzing synthesizer tones and sombre cello strokes plotting out unfinished melodies. You might compare it to the droning folk songs of Fursaxa, or Islaja's experimental, misshapen songs. After a silky a cappella beginning, 'Let Time Breathe' accumulates a distorted chord sequence played out on electric guitar, giving a greater shape to the song than the unearthly drones of that first piece. The duo have a closer run in with a more recognisable kind of folk with the sinister, stop-start dynamics of 'Like Yesterday', held together by sparse acoustic guitar plucks and tentative string swells. The EP comes to an all-too premature close on 'Shadow', a beautiful - if surprisingly conventional - ballad, with bright synth oscillations cutting through the moroseness of the vocals and those bedraggled acoustic guitar strums. Here's hoping these two get around to recording a full album soon. Absolutely gorgeous.