Monday, October 27, 2014

Elisa Ambrogio : The Immoralist

Elisa Ambrogio’s debut solo release is a boundary free record remaining in-step with the spontaneous compositional approach you might know from her work as guitar muscle of Magik Markers, whilst incorporating childhood favourites The Poni-Tales, Dixie Cups and Tiffany into 10 new songs with the assistance of Jason Robert Quever.  Sure, it’s poppier than you’ve ever heard Ambrogio before, what also comes to the fore is a penchant for folk amongst some of the places the dowsing rod navigated to...  

Right from when the album gets going with ‘Superstitious’ it suggests themes from Andre Gide's book 'The Immoralist'; desire, nature, beauty, death.  “I don’t believe in ghosts, I don’t believe in thirteen, I don’t throw the tarot, I don’t follow a strategy, but I get superstitious when it comes to you and me” muses Ambrogio in this dreamy ode.  Reverberated vocals, drum machines, strings and guitar builds a lush tone underpinning the whole album.  ‘The Immoralist’ really hits its stride on ‘Stopped Clocks’; a whirling haze of wired guitar, spooked keys and amphetamine beats spiral away until the song plaintively stops dead in its tracks.  'Arkansas’ rounds things off with a sombre refrain hollowed by piano and cello arrangements.  “Sold down the river, He had his pride, A grace in trying, to fight the tide”, it just feels like this track is marking someone who swung and missed but remembering the fact that at least they tried and that made it/them count.  It's this weighty poignancy and immense positivity which are focal to the draw of Ambrogio's new songs. 

I’ll avoid the broken mirrors, cracks in the pavement and walking under ladders if it sweetens the odds of getting more releases like 'The Immoralist' any time soon, great record, out on Drag City.

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