Wild Mercury Sound

Colleen's Les Ondes Silencieuses. Also: Killers bashing

John Mulvey

I've just been reading through your comments again. Thanks for all of them: I really like it when Wild Mercury Sound starts to resemble a sort of forum, when we can swap tips and enthusiasms and also, of course, pick on Killers fans. Particularly taken with Lauren's eloquent post, not least because of the nice things she says about Uncut. "You are tripping if you think the Killers are more likely to make an impact on the hearts and minds of people than the Arctic Monkeys are," she writes in response to a post by Mitch.

"Sorry, but yr way offbeam. Alex Turner is clearly a rare class of songwriter. Killers are just drab. Dude had to grow facial hair as a gimmick... that is only the first lame thing about them. PS: there are tons of splendid bands around at the moment, but they ain't going to come up and clobber you with their 'I am a classic band' hammer. you are obviously an Uncut reader... Pick a reviewer you trust and buy an album they recommend. you might surprise yourself..."

Hopefully, this blog can provide that kind of service (Good to see Tanel picked up on the Linda Perhacs reissue, by the way; I've probably played that album as much as any other over the past couple of years). Right now, anyway, the new album by Colleen is playing, and I can't think of another record in my pile at the moment that wields the "'I am a classic band' hammer" more subtly.

Colleen is, in fact, a Parisian woman called Cecile Schott, whose previous albums have generally fixated on highly intimate electronica, with sampled music boxes and a delicate, meticulously detailed atmosphere that's quite close to some of Bjork's "Vespertine".

Her new album, "Les Ondes Silencieuses", sustains that mood, but uses different tools to achieve it. Essentially, it's chamber music, with Schott creating a kind of baroque ambience with a classical acoustic guitar, a clarinet, a spinet, a few ringing glasses and, most prominently, a viola da gamba. The last instrument has a fantastic woody sound, like a particularly reverberant cello, and it contributes to an atmosphere that's refined, meditative and genuinely lovely. Just the thing after a long day of meetings, I think. Try some: "Blue Sands" and "Sea Of Tranquility" are both playing at Colleen's Myspace.


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