I love music which weaves around it an alternative world to exist in. Why be just another bunch of cool kids following fad and fashion competing with thousands of identikit also rans for the loose change of teen pop pickers when you can be the sole denizens of your own, strange and beguiling other world? Why indeed! Thankfully it isn’t even a question that troubles the wonderfully named Sisters of Velveteen, instead they use their hunted lyrics and exotic sounds to build their own plane of existence, part jackdaws hoarding all manner of shiny sonic things in their nest, part weavers of troubled dreamscapes, part time machine.
And whilst it would be easy to merely tag the Sisters as new kids on the goth block, that would be to sell things very short. This is no po-faced pagan pop packaged up for black clad Buffy The Vampire Slayer fans, this is instead a gorgeous tapestry of dark folk sounds, gypsy grooves, East European traditions and unsettling and melancholic balladry. It is also music that adds surprise after surprise as the band add tasteful textures to their gorgeous vocal core, a manic accordion here, a tribal beat there, ethereal harmonies and spoken word, klezmer vibes and staccato waltzes, mad juxtapositions that reap brilliant rewards.
Song For Lilly is as gorgeous and broken a ballad as you are going to hear this year, one dripping with sweet sorrow and regret, Cockleshells is a flute-fuelled dirge built as much from atmosphere and space as it is actual sonic building blocks and opening salvo Two Lochs sounds like the score for a little known horror movie, possibly one set at a Croatian folk festival in the late 1890’s.
As brilliant a discovery as it was unexpected and all I can say is how can the UK even contemplate leaving the EU when I have only just stumbled upon this sonic slice of fragile French brilliance. Vote tactically…vote Velveteen!