Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
Review of Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves Of Destiny’s Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose
FacebookAfter writing up some bands lately whose names have either undersold or misrepresented the music they present, it’s rather refreshing to have an artist whose public identity promises exactly what they have to offer. And that artist is Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves Of Destiny. A grandiose name, to be sure, and one that’s matched by the title of their just-released debut album Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose.
There’s no way that labels like those could herald anything less than grandiose ambitions, so the question is really whether the 21-year old Newcastle-Upon-Tyne native who gives the band their name can deliver on them. And the answer is an unequivocal, “yes”. Nature has given Houghton not only a richly smoky voice and operatic range, but a tremendously vivid imagination upon which to draw on for her songwriting. All these gifts are combined to impressive effect on Cellophane Nose, which is by turns whimsical and dramatic, dark and technicolour and enchanting throughout.
Houghton’s roots as a folkish/singer-songwriter are perceptible in the record’s quieter moments, but more often they take a backseat to the ornate, often baroque-ish arrangements that adorn everything. By rights they should be overpowering, even with veteran producer Ben Hillier on hand to keep things on track; a case of too much too soon for an artist let loose in the sonic costume shop filled with horns, strings, choirs and harpsichords. And yet, rather than collapsing under the weight of it all, Cellophane Nose finds Houghton not only standing straight and tall in all her finery, but galloping off towards greater things. Hooves of destiny, indeed.
MP3: Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves Of Destiny – “Dodecahedron”
Video: Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves Of Destiny – “Sweet Tooth Bird”
Video: Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves Of Destiny – “Liliputt”
Video: Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves Of Destiny – “Dodecahedron”
Though The Big Pink’s second album Future This has been out a few weeks now, the band has only now made a track from it available to download. So download it. And read these interviews with Milo Cordell at The Skinny and The Province.
The video for M.I.A.’s new single surfaced last week, just in time for her appearance at the Super Bowl halftime show this weekend. It’s her video that’s got everyone talking, right? Right?
Video: M.I.A. – “Bad Girls”
Video: Lianne La Havas – “Forget”
A Heart Is A Spade and STV have interviews with The Twilight Sad and Le Blogotheque offers up a Take-Away Show with the band. No One Can Ever Know is out today and they’re at Lee’s Palace on February 29.
Band Of Skulls will follow up the release of Sweet Sour next week with a North American tour that hits Lee’s Palace on May 15, and if you can’t wait that long they’re also at The Phoenix on March 30 opening for We Are Augustines. The band takes Gigwise and Spin through the new record track-by-track, with Spin also offering a stream of the whole thing. And over at The Independent, bassist Emma Richardson talks about her painting.
The video for the first single from Ladyhawke’s forthcoming Anxiety is now out. The album arrives March 27 in North America.