Trigger – Elea Calvet (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Elea_B_W_full_version3.jpgElea Calvet has always been able to deliver neat line in ethereality and otherworldliness, but with Trigger we find her exploring more grounded, primal grooves as well. This combination of her trademark sultry vocals, voice as instrument deliveries and dirty blues musical anchor points creates a fantastic blend of the dark and earthbound, and the shimmering and heavenly, a sort of celestial blues or cosmic Americana no less.

And if the building blocks lying at the heart of Trigger share common ground with country and blues, as does most contemporary western music, the finished article is more characterized by experimental, slightly psyched out instrumentation, thoughtful lyrics and a bucking of mainstream trends, and sits on the freakier fringes of many traditional genres – particularly country, folk, indie rock even alt-pop.

Maybe I am over selling the roots elements a bit; I don’t want you to think that this is all rhinestones and stoner vibes, honky-tonk bar band and truck stop rock. It isn’t, the musical elements may be easily identified but what she does with them is the real trick. It is dark and emotive, forged of slow, sassy grooves and containing an edge of menace, washes of Hammond ooze through between the beats, it howls and rages, it refuses to compromise and it takes no prisoners.

But if it is easy to see the Americana influences creeping in it is balanced by the exploratory indie that has always been there and the result is exhilarating, yoking the shimmering, siren like music she has made her hallmark to a swamp-tarnished, banshee howl, like PJ Harvey or Patti Smith going gospel or the sound of yet another soul being sold at a midnight crossroads.

Yet again Elea Calvet takes the sounds available to every other musician and manages to find a new way of fitting them together, blurs generic lines and pulls heavenly music from the cold, west country clay of her adopted home, something she is getting remarkably good at.

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