Friday, December 14, 2007

Tiny Vipers

Hands Across the Void
(Sub Pop)

Sub Pop’s website helpfully describes this album by Seattle-based singer and guitarist Jesy Fortino as Tiny Vipers as “acoustic/goth.”
Fortino is a guitarist seemingly more inspired by the ambient textures of John Fahey and British psych influences that have inspired fellow “goths” Current 93, than by anyone else more interested in catchy pop hooks.

Without any other musicians around, there is a constant sparseness to the songs on Void that can often leave one wanting more. Perhaps, for example, a more pleasing voice to help make the crazy go down easier. Fortino’s voice is similar to, but not as horrifyingly atonal — sorry, “artful” — as Joanna Newsom’s. When she stumbles onto a catchy verse, in the song “Swastika,” no less, it goes away quickly.
In an 11-minute song performed by her alone (could she be a Jandek fan?), it requires more patience than usual. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, of course. Except when it is.

c. 2007 LEO Weekly

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