Blood & Bone, the debut album from Londoner Alice Gun, could well be the most remarkable album from a UK artist to be released this year. To put it bluntly I’m impressed.
Recorded in London and the Lake District, there’s a real sense of drama and space to the album. This is created through a perfect, sparse use of instruments, mainly played by herself and focused around her cello and piano. The feel is eerie, almost scary at times, but beautifully matches her vocals to create something that could only really have come from a UK artist.
Although the similarities with PJ Harvey and Nick Cave cannot be disputed there’s a far greater emphasis on English folk and drama in her music. Gun would be perhaps more at home with Wuthering Heights era Kate Bush or even The Unthanks than Harvey.
The album starts slowly with the short ‘Horrible soul’ setting the scene. Like Harvey, Tom Waits and Nick Cave there’s a sense that bad, murderous things are about to happen.’ The Swimmer’ could be straight out of Cave’s back catalogue, softer tracks such as ‘Blanket And A Box’ follow along with immediate draws like ‘Not Made For This World’ and ‘Metal Spider’.
Things go a little ballistic with the electric guitar on ‘Machines’ and pounding tribal rhythm of ‘What Can I Get Me’, but while potentially jarring these still manage to fit the overall mood of the album. The Kate Bush-esqe centrepiece ‘Blood and Bone’ is another highpoint. I’ve listened again and again and have yet to find a track I skip.
Gun appears to be the complete package in terms of potential success. She’s talented, she’s got a great voice, has a marketable look and clearly listens to a lot of great music. The question I ask is why has the video ‘Not Made For This World’ only received around 200 hits on Youtube at the time of writing and why have only 167 people so far ‘liked’ her on Facebook?
Gun is a star, but it appears we are among only a few hundred people that know it. Surely such obscurity can’t last.
For More information about Alice Gun click here.
by Joe Lepper