Album: Phantom Limb, Phantom Limb (Naim)
Friday 04 December 2009
Two years after forming at the end of 2004, Phantom Limb's progress was derailed when singer Yolanda Quartey fell ill.
When she regained her voice six months later, the band eased her back in with a series of low-key acoustic rehearsals which completely changed their approach, as they accessed a more intimate, emotionally potent style of country-soul music. Quartey is a phenomenal talent, drawing on gospel, soul and country inflections to produce a range of effects: on "Withering Bones", her flatted blue notes combined with the country-blues backing creates a sound akin to Mick Jagger on Let It Bleed, while elsewhere, the dark strings and vocal elisions of "Spring Flowers" bring to mind Jeff Buckley. She can lay it on thick – both "Playing With Death" and "I'll Never Be The Same Again" are too overwrought – but for most of the time she's confidently between downcast and distraught, sketching emotional turmoil in sharply observed details, like the acknowledgement of maturity in "Good Fortune": "The arch of a shoulder, the touch of a hand/You got older, and learned to be a man". The band, meanwhile, display sensitivity, illuminating the blue shadows cast by organ and piano with subtle glints of acoustic and pedal steel guitar, building up a mantra-like power on "The Hard Way".
Download this: Don't Say A Word; The Hard Way; Withering Bones; Spring Flowers
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
The magicians using online collaboration to push boundaries
lifeIt takes year-long dedication to get Selfridges ready for 25 December. And they're already working on plans for 2015...
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
Arts & Ents blogs
Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
Coriolanus, theatre review: 'Tom Hiddleston has blazing stellar power'
Nymphomaniac, film review: 'Despite the surreal sex scenes this is a serious drama'
A special delivery: Behind the scenes on the set of 'Call the Midwife'
Justin Bieber's mishaps and controversies
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Ethan Couch: Texas quadruple murderer – or a victim of ‘affluenza’?
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Ian Watkins: Paedophile Lostprophets singer sentenced to 35 years for child sex offences, as judge labels him a 'dangerous sexual predator'
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- < Previous
- Next >