This new E.P. presents three freshly unarchived treasures from the vaults of the very talented Nina Walsh.
Goodnight Sweet Droog is dedicated to a dear friend who passed just two days before its recording. Despite these circumstances the music is neither sad nor melancholy. More, most definitely, celebratory. The melody a hymn-like hum, with the suggestion of hushed human harmonies deep in the mix, and a Beethoven, pastoral-like quality. The fanfare and chimes, carried by a slowly rising drum tattoo, sound like Christmas approaching. The sort of moving machine-made gear that Jose Padilla would play as the sun set on the Cafe del Mar, the synths echo New Order’s more elegiac moments, such as Your Silent Face, and there’s also just a smidgen of Sabres Of Paradise’s Smokebelch in the tone of the guitar.
Narcissus is a lament for another love lost, that this time fits into Nina’s folk canon. Slotting in, shoulder-to-shoulder, with the sides she produced for the imprint, Moine Dubh, as Echowood. Pitting pizzicato chamber orchestra playfulness against arcs of electric axe feedback, while the lyrics, poetry in arcane argot, conjure romantic, fairytale, magick imagery rooted in Renaissance art. The song’s protagonist wounded “with a jaded kiss.”
Wonky Dog, inspired in part by avant musician Moondog, dances a jolly jaunty jig, of uneven gait, built from bouncing bass notes, and skeleton bone xylophone. Like a movie score from days of yore – I see ghosts creeping up on an unsuspecting Donald, Mickey, and Goofy – or an eccentric, inebriated Tom Waits waltz turned electronic.
Nina Walsh’s Sweet Droog E.P. is out now, and available exclusively from Bandcamp.