Molly Sweeney

Gold Rings and Fur Pelts

by Matthew Fiander

7 August 2011

 
cover art

Molly Sweeney

Gold Rings and Fur Pelts

(Syren Songs)
US: 14 Jun 2011
UK: 7 Jun 2011

On her debut album, Gold Rings and Fur Pelts, Molly Sweeney succeeds nearly on the power of her voice alone. That’s not to say that the arrangements here don’t work, or aren’t impressive in their intricacy—“Swollen” is thick with pedal steel and horns, as bleary-eyed as it is pastoral, while “Spirit, I Will See You” is a dissonant, otherworldly haunt—but it’s her voice that pulls this all together. She’s got a great range, going from sultry depths to angelic heights, but it’s her delivery, with all the control and emotion of a seasoned soul singer, that makes her a unique talent. The softness of her voice on opener “Swollen” grows ever so subtly into a quiet snarl as she sings about how “the Jacks and the Jills just try to make names for themselves” and how she stands there with “swollen fingers” and her “blood hobbles through her veins”. There are wonderful phrases like this that work their way through the entire record, though her voice is always restrained and patient enough to make you go and find them, rather than clubbing you with her often striking words. The songs, as a collection, end up feeling a little too sleepy overall, maintaining a slow, languid trudge through the whole record. While it’s true that that gives Sweeney’s voice space to stretch out and impress, it also undersells the inherent immediacy and energy of her voice. Gold Rings and Fur Pelts is an impressive debut, on the whole, and with a voice like this, Sweeney’s got nowhere to go but up.

Gold Rings and Fur Pelts

Rating:

//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

A Crooked and Unseen Highway: lowercase - "She Takes Me"

// Sound Affects

"The newest Between the Grooves series tackles Lowercase's Kill the Lights, a great marriage of slowcore and post-punk: raw, angry, sullen, and very much alive almost 20 years later.

READ the article