Midas himself must have touched the ears of the folks over at Pehr. They’ve just released the first album from 33-year-old Parisienne, Christelle Delaney, here in the States and I find myself going back for more and more (kind of like I did last week with the cream puffs at Papa Beard’s). Delaney is indeed comfort food to the ears, whether you’re looking for a little ray of sunshine, “A Quoi Bon” (dig the dusty beat), or a soundtrack for heart break, “La Nuit On A Toujours Tout.” Either way, prepare for deliciousness.
Please do not confuse Mus, the delightful Spanish duo of Fran Gayo and Mónica Vacas, with MUS, short for Memphis University School, the all-boy prep school I attended from 7th through 9th grades. First of all, Mus has a female, and there were no females at MUS. Mus use the soaring female voice as an instrument, highlighting their minimal approach, be it coolly electronic or calmly acoustic. And that voice sings in Asturian, from the Principality of Asturias in northwest Spain, making Mus as mysterious as a girl at an all-boy prep school.
Empress was the alter ego of that mad Leeds outfit Boyracer, with several members having stints in Hood. But while Boyracer has been fast, frentic, and fun, Empress was haunting and mesmerizing, with the stillness of Low and the sensuousness of Movietone. And if you haven’t heard Empress already, well, now it’s time.
Stunningly sublime, or sublimely stunning? How about both? The perfect music for a warm spring day. So highly addictive that even one listen starts a dependency. Fortunately, this is one addiction you should feed.
I find myself holding my breath, waiting, riveted, for each word uttered by Chris Healey. His is a still, small, wavering voice accompanied by a stripped-down band. Comparisons from Nick Drake to Radiohead all fit the bill here. But Arco is even more fragile than Drake, more quiet than the quietest moments from Yorke and company, and absolutely stunning.