Maplebee: Home

Maplebee’s new album Home will be released on November 4th. Much like her previous release Hello Eve, the new album blends ethereal electro-pop and folk elements into creepy girl darkness. Maplebee is Melanie Garside, formerly of Queen Adreena and Mediaeval Baebes.

Home didn’t immediately capture my interest like Hello Eve did. Tracks like “While You Were Sleeping” and “Quiet The Silent World” are solid pop tunes, but would be much better if the melodies didn’t overwhelm Melanie’s voice as they do. It was her eerie wail in “Moth Touch” that first drew me to her music, and the heavy production on the new disc often prevents her voice from shining.

“Me and Rose” quietly slides in to make everything different and better. The tune blossoms from a slightly spooky hush into quirky Parisian melancholy accented with cello and accordion. The sweeter, simpler piano and guitar ballad “No Place” has a similar quiet charm.

Some of the remaining tracks fail to deliver on the drama they seem to be building toward, but there are definite exceptions. The swaying glockenspiel tinkle of “Mirrior”, the ominously seductive “I Want It All”, and especially the finale “This Face This Name” finally unleash some of the old Maplebee velvet snarl.

Maplebee Official Site

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Ruby Throat: The Ventriloquist

Ruby Throat is a British duo led by former Daisy Chainsaw and Queen Adreena singer Katie Jane Garside. The eerily quiet music on their debut album The Ventriloquist is similar to the creepy female spectre sound of her previous bands, but now blended with elements of folk and South Western twang. The version of the album that I received was a limited edition of which a few hundred copies are still available, but the disc will be repackaged for a general release this summer. The band is currently working on their second album.

“Swan Song (Swan & the Minotaur)” slides in with Katie Jane’s husky whisper over a soft lullaby melody, then “House of Thieves” turns down a slightly darker path. The pretty “Naked Ruby” slips into an even gentler hush, which only serves to heighten the haunting quality of Garside’s voice. “Salt’s Angel” and “Dear Daniel…” spiral into mellow atmospheric rock reminiscent of Mazzy Star or even Flaming Lips, but with a nice splash of lap steel.

“The Ventriloquist” is the stand out, with deceptively quiet Lynchian twang swaying around Katie Jane’s siren calls. “Ghost Boy” could be a tribute to Hannah Fury‘s macabre gossamer. The finale breaks the quiet with a more prominent guitar and a fiercer tone to the vocals.

Ruby Throat – The Ventriloquist (mp3 expired)

Ruby Throat Official Site
Ruby Throat MySpace

You can only buy the CD through Paypal at the above links for now.