ALBUM REVIEW: Esben And The Witch (Matador Records)
Deriving their creepy name from an equally disturbing Danish fairytale, Esben And The Witch are a power-trio from Brighton, England that excel at making extremely chilling and futuristic rock music. Vocalist Rachel Davies projects her voice like a ghost haunting the album from start to finish. On Violet Cries, their debut album for indie powerhouse Matador Records, the band achieves a sonic texture throughout all ten tracks on the record, though most of the songs start off at snail’s pace before gaining momentum and launching into a cacophony of distortion and pulsating rhythms.
Esben And The Witch are still a very young band having just formed three years ago in 2008. However the ability they display on Violet Cries shows a band operating with far more year’s experience, and hopefully promises an evolution of their sound in the years to come. The simple fact that they are the only UK band that’s been signed to Matador besides Belle And Sebastian proves that they’re doing something right in order to attract a label that artists like Sonic Youth, Pavement and Cat Power all call home.
With most of the songs clocking in around the five and a half minute mark, their combined efforts result in Violet Cries being a lush and expansive album that sounds much like what I would imagine the soundtrack to a goth couple breaking up would be. (Matador Records)