Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Album Review - Ann Scott 'Flo'

Ireland has produced some excellent singer-songwriters; Damien Rice, Fionn Regan, Glen Hansard. It almost makes up for unleashing Bono and Jedward upon the rest of the world. Ann Scott is one of Ireland’s well kept secrets. I got a good feeling about Ann Scott from the CD case of her third album ‘Flo’ alone, minimalistic and none of this plastic crap.

At the risk of sounding pretentious, the dream-pop elements of the album leave you comfortably buoyant, carried by Scott’s beguilingly ambient vocals. This is a floaty album that half way through leaves you wondering which track you’ve started yearning over. Just sitting here at my laptop listening to the album on repeat induces my head to lull and hands to go numb as if a masseuse just hit the spot. Consistently interesting, haunting, inventive and beautiful - the kind of music mere fools would probably dub as ‘depressing’, so you know it’s gonna be good. A strange comparison perhaps, but to me the swimmy style is like a tame My Bloody Valentine acoustic set.

The album is one big highlight, but the track I keep returning to is ‘Universe’, a blissful Cat Power-esque jazzy swing with poignant and satisfying lyrics. ‘Lost’ is another hit, a journey of a track with familiar elements of the music of Bjork and Bat For Lashes combined with PJ Harvey and even electronic pop band People Press Play, however her sound is hard to strike many truly accurate comparisons to. It’s freshness largely maintains interest.

Rarely do surprise albums hold my attention for long enough to even be ripped into my iTunes, this is one of those unwonted occasions.

Flo by Ann Scott is available now.

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