Niobe

Blackbird's Echo

by Alan Ranta

7 May 2009

 
cover art

Niobe

Blackbird's Echo

(Tomlab)
US: 10 May 2009
UK: 8 May 2009

I wasn’t expecting much from this record by looking at its cover. I know you’re not supposed to judge that, but in this case, it resulted in a very pleasant surprise. I figured Niobe’s fifth studio album would be typical singer-songwriter fare. There certainly is an element of that, but it is undercut by sample happy freak-folktronica. Much of it is slow but moving, minimal yet dense, loosely jazzy, boss nova, and indie rock weirdness, with occasional flourished into house and camp lounge. Guests to this bizarre garden party include DJ Olive, who adds a nice beat to his eponymous track, and David Grubbs of Gastr del Sol, who brings some avant-garde organ down for an off-kilter duet. The focus is mostly on surreal soundscapes and lyricism to match, as if Björk got Syd Barrett out of his bomb-shelter before he died and sat him behind a console. Bring the tea, and Blackbird’s Echo will deliver you a mad romp of a good time.

Blackbird's Echo

Rating:

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.


//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Black Milk Gives 'Em 'Hell'

// Sound Affects

"Much of If There's a Hell Below's themes relay anxieties buried deep, manifested as sound when they are unearthed.

READ the article