Album: Josephine Foster & the Victor Herrero Band, Perlas (Fire Records)

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The Independent Culture

Foster's wholly unique voice has the eerie, tremulous quality of a bowed saw. By contrast, the band attack their acoustic instruments with admirable ferocity.

Such an apparent disjuncture makes this analogue, live-studio recording the most compelling Spanish album I've heard in ages. Brimming with long-forgotten melodies drawn from the folk traditions of Castile, the Basque and other regions, the atmosphere is one of both joy and melancholy. Delightful.