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neumu
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 
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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
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ 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
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ 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
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive



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artist
Diana Darby
recording
The Magdalene Laundries
Delmore Recordings
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For most of the 20th century, Irish girls who had the bad fortune to become pregnant out of wedlock, to be raped, or to simply seem like trouble were sometimes shunted into the Magdalene Laundries. They might be there for decades, forced to do the hard labor of washing and fed barely enough. They were unable to contact friends or family, to marry, to go to school. They were, in essence, abandoned by family, friends, lovers — everyone they knew — with the full blessing of the Church. The Laundries closed in 1996, and last year, director Peter Mullen made a very affecting movie about the subject in The Magdalene Sisters.

In her third album, Houston-born, Nashville-based songwriter Diana Darby takes the Magdalene Laundries as her inspiration, crafting 10 fragile, dark-timbred folk songs about hope and betrayal, imprisonment and solace. She recorded them at home, on 4-track, stopping only when her recorder broke. Brief, dreamlike, revelatory, these songs burrow softly into your consciousness and stay there like memories you never knew you had.

"My dress is worn/ My skin is black/ I hear your voice I won't be back/ Why did you take away my home?/ My mother, myself, my own," she sings in the rough and blues-tinged "Skin." It is the most abrasive track on the disc, distorted with static like a 1930s Southern field recording, sung in a deeper, angrier voice, and intensely passionate. It also perfectly captures the desolation of the girls trapped in these institutions and sets the stage for the more thoughtful, ethereal tracks that follow.

The first of these is the lovely "Bring Me All the Rabbits," all whispered melodies and slow-picked guitars. "Bring me all the rabbits... before they all are dead," sings Darby, in a voice so breathy and soft that you have to lean in to hear it, and yet so full of drama that you do lean in. Darby borrows a folk-picked guitar motif for "Let Her Run Free," wringing depth and emotion out of the simple, natural melodies. The subject matter is bleak, but the songs are not. "I'm Wishing You Bluebirds," where she sounds, vocally, a bit like Joanna Newsom, is as serene and hopeful as morning in a country meadow, a glimpse of heaven, perhaps from a barred window, but liberating all the same. Lyrics are simple, powerful and drawn from the natural world, as for instance on the minor-key "Black Swan," where a misfit fowl stands in for misunderstood women. Darby may have started with the extreme case of the Magdalene girls, but her lyrics are clearly intended for other women as well, when she writes, "Black swan/ Swimming in your pool alone/ Black swan/ Never had a home of your own/ You tried being like the other ones/ Inside, you know that you don't belong/ You spend your nights a princess/ With the first light/ You're a mistress."

This is a wonderful album, lovely on the first listen, and gaining depth and resonance with repeat spins.


by Jennifer Kelly




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