Dreamy, ethereal female vocals underpinned by haunting melodies and atmospheric textures have been the trademark of 4AD since This Mortal Coil first sprung from the mind of 4AD president Ivo Watts-Russell. Watts-Russell’s latest project The Hope Blister remains firmly in that vein. Apart from a duo of songs, the instrumentation is sparse (violin, viola, cello and bass guitar), creating a moody minimalism that allows the songs to breathe. It’s quite refreshing, given alternative rock’s predisposition to throw everything in the sink, with 20 guitar tracks on the amp’s 10 setting—I love you, but you know I mean you Noel Gallagher.
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