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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
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+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
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+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
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44.1 kHz Archive

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Scout Niblett
Kidnapped By Neptune
Too Pure

Two decades ago, Emma Niblett was a Nottingham kid kitted out in a Relax T-shirt. In 2005, she's come so far as to be able to offer up her own song called "Relax," but, rather than singing about trying to rein in imminent ejaculation, the lass — now called Scout — is singing about trying to not force her artistic voice, singing this to the accompanying strums of the frailest guitar. And, by the way she sings of her "little voice," in her little voice — a voice that's quite Cat Power-esque (and given that this song plays, briefly, with the imagery of losing the pitch of one's singing in the mix coming through the cans, and then freaking out, it's quite the apt comparison) — you figure that the artistic voice and Scout's little voice are one and the same. But when she repeats the refrain "Come on, Scout, relax/ Nothing's yours anyway," those lines offer an interesting insight into her aesthetic. Initially, it seems like a case of referring-to-self-in-the-third-person driven by either nuttiness or hilariousness, but soon it sets in that Niblett is singing about an artistic voice that dwells within her, that broadcasts through her, but that isn't actually hers. To these ears, it's the first time on her three-album/two-EP career that Niblett — whose songs set her singing to mostly just delicate guitar or bashed percussion — has hinted that this Scout business is artifice, that her penchant for wearing wigs on stage, and for creating an almost mythical persona, is a ritualistic way of tuning into the transmission of this schizophrenic voice, a voice from within that Emma has decided to distance herself from by calling it Scout, a name pulled from the pages of To Kill a Mockingbird. On this, her third disc, we witness a strange dance between Emma and Scout, there being songs here where, in pure Scout mode, she sings those silly lyrics (from "DJ Deathprince of Now is her name/ Hot to death/ It gets hot to death" to "I was so excited/ Just to be in your car/ O!, fuck Treasure Island!"), and there being others where it seems like the songsmith, as herself, is pleadingly searching for her impish muse (a muse who, if we're to read between the ridiculous lines, was at some stage kidnapped by Neptune). "Pompoms" finds Niblett asking: "Does anybody know a cute girl with some pompoms?/ ...because everybody needs someone to spell out their name, in the little song"; this references those past tunes (like "Linus," from the "I Conjure Series" gear, or "It's All for You", from her last longplayer, the cutely titled I Am) where Scout's spelt-out cheerleader chants and butch backbeats have made for a righteous Bee. The opening sentiments of "It's All for You" — "Oh, sweet lifer, I tremble but my course does not" — are evoked again on this disc's closing cut, "Where Are You?", which also revisits that same sense of "home" (and, perhaps, the him waiting at home) as inspiration, with Niblett pledging to return to her "loving home of silence" as Emma once she's through making her "fucking noise" as Scout.

by Anthony Carew

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