Album: Martina Topley Bird, Some Place Simple (Honest Jons)

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The Independent Culture

For her Honest Jons debut, Martina Topley Bird revisits songs from her previous two albums, Quixotic and The Blue God, a particularly welcome move in the latter case, where her character seemed to be lost amongst the Danger Mouse productions.

Here, the opening "Baby Blue" exemplifies the less-is-more approach employed, with ukulele, glockenspiel and tambourine allowing the haunting simplicity of the vocal melody to captivate the listener. For "Ilyah", instruments are dispensed with entirely in favour of layered polyphonic harmonies. Elsewhere, thumb piano and balofon carry "Da Da Da" and "Poison" respectively, while several songs are stripped to little more than electric piano. The result is her most distinctive and engaging set so far, a triumph of imaginative subtlety.

DOWNLOAD THIS Baby Blue; Ilyah; Lying; Poison