Boomkat Product Review:
Bad Seed and Aussie journeyman Mick Harvey meets Mexican singer Acevedo in a lush, dusty dream sequence, adapting Spanish ballads to English-language duets, and covers of Tim Buckley and Pat Benatar, with quietly captivating results
As the story goes, erstwhile Bad Seed and The Birthday Party guitarist-songwriter Mick Harvey met Amanda Acevedo while he was on tour with PJ Harvey, and a creative union blossomed over the course of 2020/21. They prove an ideally timeless match, with Harvey’s gravelly baritone leavened by Acevedo’s lilt for a drifting hour of romantic torchsong, solemn reflections on mortality, and finding meaning in the mythical.
Underlined by additional guitar and instrumentation from the likes of Rowland S. Howard (Harvey’s bandmate in Crime & the City Solution and The Birthday Party), and set in place by recording engineer Alain Johannes (QOTSA, Mark Lanegan), the album simply drips with a classic lustre that is as much testament to the the old soul of young Acevedo, as it is to Harvey’s legendary calibre. Their take on Tim Buckley’s ‘Song to the Siren’ is a standout, simmering down the vocals and allowing the string arrangement to carry them more rustically, while previous single ‘Milk & Honey’ also grips with its sublime quiet/loud tension, and the late night blooz of ‘The Decadence of Lust’ reminds to Harvey’s Melbourne offspring HTRK in its rapt hush. Acevedo also sounds hauntingly beautiful when singing in her native tongue to Harvey’s english on ‘The Blue Unicorn’.