Black Swans

Change!

by Michael Metivier

9 January 2008

 

A lot of so-called unique voices, even great ones, end up reminding one of countless others due to a variety of characteristics: whispery or deep, piercing or nasal. But I’m hard pressed to find a single comparison for the dusky yawn of the Black Swans’ Jerry DiCiccia, which skims each syllable of the band’s enchanting and adorned folk like the bird itself, on the edge of unknown depths. “Only Be With You” is dead simple on the surface, a direct emotional confession, but it’s touched through with musical details that coat each listen with new memories and resonance. Noel Sayre’s crisp violin plays perfect counterpoint to DiCiccia’s voice throughout the album, from the shimmering, shivering “Fruitless Ways”, to the final, self-explanatory “3 Chord Song”,  gripping melodies hard and firm while the words slip consistently into the dim. Change! is an album of texture and nuance, unafraid to embrace tradition one minute, and leave it longing and in tears the next.

Change!

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