Artist: Monica Richards
Genre: Alternative/ Experimental/ Folk/ Rock
Release Date: 25th October 2013
Label: Danse Macabre
You suspect MONICA RICHARDS has never been bored in her life. When not being a writer, composer and artist, she’s a full time musician who has pedigree and cool to spare. Perhaps best known for her work alongside William Faith in FAITH AND THE MUSE, she’s also notched up an impressive list of collaborators and side-projects along her 25 years in the business, all the while maintaining a warm, caring and approachable persona. Makes you want to hate this latest album doesn’t it? Alas, there is nothing for the haters here. Where FAITH AND THE MUSE prided themselves on a freeform approach to styles and genres that occasionally resulted in a kind of woolly waffle, this is a taut and tight collection of songs. She’s clearly at the top of her game here, proof that experience and a relentlessly fluid approach to song-writing will always pay dividends.
‘Kindred’ has the unmistakeable voice of MONICA RICHARDS over some pulsing, eastern-tinged melancholy, all mystique and intrigue and an excellent mood setter for what’s ahead. ‘Under The Bridge’ is spooky early DEAD CAN DANCE in mood, a sparse and delicate sound but with a creepy, edgy alter-ego. There’s bounce and kick to more straightforward rock song ‘Fall’ which sounds like late era SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES, and ‘Undulatos Asperatus’ has a thunderous beat and floating, ethereal vocals and is a natural progression from FAITH AND THE MUSE.
It’s the attention to variation while maintaining an overall sound that’s impressive on ‘Kindred’. A world music feel to ‘The Bird And The Snake’ has the whispery, seductive vocal style of JORDAN REYNE for example, while ’50 Euro Boy’ is dark-disco, shaking its sinister shadows around the sweaty clubs and backstreets of some unspecified city. And then there’s the plinky jazz piano of ‘Penelope’ which morphs into the simply gorgeous ‘Let You Go’. Weeping strings and a yearning vocal heartache make this one of the true highlights of the album. Another curve-ball is thrown with the knowingly odd ‘Gil’s Theme’, which makes you think of 1960’s spy thrillers, and final track ‘The Enchanted Mirror’ is fabulous. Slinky and sexy, sinister and snakelike, this is pure class.
‘Kindred’ then represents the pinnacle of MONICA RICHARDS’ career, a drawing together of all she has done and achieved and a sifting and sieving of the influences, tastes and styles that have made her one of the most instinctive and original artists in modern music.
02. Under The Bridge
04. Undulatos Asperatus
05. The Bird And The Snake
07. 50 Euro Boy
09. Let You Go
10. Lalala Song
11. Gil’s Theme
12. Sparks (Redux)
13. The Enchanted Mirror
https://www.facebook.com/MonicaRichardsFanpage / http://www.monicarichards.com/
Total: 9 / 10