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Album: Cold Specks, I Predict a Graceful Expulsion (Mute)


It's hard to pigeonhole Canadian singer Al Spx, aka Cold Specks, in the usual generic slots. She calls what she does “Doom Soul”, which almost covers the elements of soul, folk and darkling indie in the single “Blank Maps”, where hammer dulcimer and cello carry her soulful delivery of the typically quixotic sentiment “I am a goddamn believer”.

There's a bruised strength to Spx's voice, and her melodies have the stark, fatalistic tone of chain-gang moans, while her lyrics skirt the edges of meaning through evocative imagery – “God is in the gutter”; “the science of suitcases” – perhaps best summarised in her reference to “a thousand stillborn thoughts to cradle and hold”.

Download: The Mark; Hector; Blank Maps; Elephant Head