Album: Gwyneth Herbert, The Sea Cabinet (Monkeywood)

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The Independent Culture

Recorded by the sea in Aldeburgh, Herbert's sort-of concept album is changeable as the ocean.

There's a cabaret approach to storytelling, in rollicking sea shanties and waltzes, while her clear pale voice switches between clipped precision, fluttering whispers and full-throated chanteuse. The instrumentation is inventive, too, featuring wheezing accordions, warbling woodwind, tinkling music boxes and rolling bells. A cabinet of curiosities indeed.