Friday, July 16, 2010

Scout Niblett - The Calcination of Scout Niblett

Scout Niblett’s guitar is alive. I swear it. I can’t tell you if it’s a Fender or a Gibson. It doesn’t matter. All I am sure of is that it is a living, writhing thing filled with the throbs and rumbles, the growls and whispers, the pains and burdens of life, its breath winding its way, coiling and uncoiling from around her voice. In her hands, it flashes glimmers of dunish light where her voice is vacant and simmers or wails underneath it when she sings. It’s a melancholic animal she manipulates to enrapturing effect, stringing it along to compliment her beautifully aching discordant warble.

Her voice has a way of turning on eccentricities and bending to expose the raw and scarred feelings within her words, buoying them up with bare emotion. And where the guitar she so deftly beguiles is not enough or requires purer force, she crushes a set of roughed up drums with tender aggression, beating a pulse out of them that is blinding.

Really, the entire album “The Calcination fo Scout Niblett” is a living thing, an inebriating animal that wraps you in its disturbed yet welcoming emotionality. Niblett has a way of drawing life out of the things she touches and says. Her words seem to hang in the air, lingering longer than the vibrations that made them audible. The chords she strikes seem to remain with you even after their pulse has died off. She’s one of those rare artists that have somehow tapped into an essence, a central truth, and whose work resonates so purely that it is frightening at times to hear because you feel laid as bare as her. You feel as exposed.

It would be ridiculous for me to try and tell you about the individual songs. To try to express what they mean and how they sound. As all living things do, they evolve. They are continually emergent, reborn with each play. It is sufficient to say just this: Scout Niblett is alive.

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