08 March 2018


self released 2018

"somewhere with dancing / visuals / gold dust visions" - NATASHA MORROW bandcamp

something happens and i'm head over heels - i'm surprised that i am one of only two people in the "supported by" section of MORROW's bandcamp page - i get it, the population of folks who obsessively pan for gold in the never-ending stream that is bandcamp -for tapes no less- is probably quite low - but there's gotta be enough dumb luck in the world for more folks to stumble upon this tape and enjoy it enough to buy it, and that's not counting the likeminded searchers (however few, but surely more than two) who would take notice, be it by name, title or -in my case- cover art

let that be a lesson to all the bandcamp artists and labels out there, artwork goes a long way - the artwork here is alluring, that's a word for it - she (the artist?) is beautiful, but there's more going on here - is that a jail cell? it's intriguing if not engrossing, there's another two words for it - the best i can make sense of it is to contextualize it with JANDEK cover art, which, as much a (selective) fan as i am of his music and more so his aesthetic, i'm probably a more receptive fan of his album cover art (which is saying somethin because in general i despise portrait artwork with few exceptions)

and to top it all off, this arrived in the mail with a black ribbon around it tied in a neat little bow - fantastic - and that's where i'd like to start in terms of sonics - deceptive simplicity - there's a lot of that here in general, with the music channeling the best of that ilk that comes to mind, like prime STEVIE NICKS sharply redirected with an outsider tack, skirting early/best CAT POWER territory toward an even more stripped down style, again finding comparison to JANDEK, particularly "NANCY" as heard on all time favorite song "nancy sings" and then, well i forget the legend but i don't think it's her on some of the THE LIVING END tracks (i wanna say it's her sister? yeah it kinda gets weird, if it wasn't weird enough)

anyway-- all that to say MORROW has a trajectory that at certain angles lines up with CHRISTINA CARTER (thinkin 2006 hat trick BASTARD WING, ELECTRICE and LACE HEART) -one of my all time favorite female artists- though at first glance that comparison might not stick (it does for me) - MORROW has an alluring throwback characteristic --organic, decisively dramatic and crucially not overdone-- reminiscent of jazz singer songwriter legends like BILLIE HOLIDAY and SHIRLEY HORN, distantly echoing PORTISHEAD's BETH GIBBONS and THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA's DOROTHY MOSKOWITZ (more all time favorite female voices)

there's lineage to last decade's weirdo female frontrunners, but MORROW is less GROUPER, more INCA ORE unplugged and dosed on nyquil, aligning with cassette contemporaries PHIPPS PT and CAROLINE NO, finding some tangential synergy with SPENCER DOBBS or TERRORS, but with better results if i may say - i guess i'm just a sucker for loner / outsider / weirdo female singer songwriter stuff, and i can't think of much that outright tops this