Scout Niblett – “Calcination of Scout Niblett, The” – [Drag City]
On her new 2010 release, “The Calcination of Scout Niblett,” Scout Niblett delivers an emotionally intense ride in which her strong vocals provide the counter-point to moments of equally intense orchestration operating at the low end of the register. There’s catchy, heavy guitar that rumbles and feeds back, crashing cymbals, pounding drum. Even the pieces (like I.B.D.) that begin pretty, slow and spare add layers of instruments, building in intensity. There’s something quite beautiful about the interplay between her strong, lilting, howling vocals (a bit reminiscent of Mecca Normal’s Jean Smith here) and the heaviness of the guitar and drums. On the cover art she smiles and waves while holding a blow torch and that is perhaps the perfect visual accompaniment for her music, which is both sweet and scorching.
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