Birds of Passage Ė Winter Lady (CD Denovali)

This cold minimal ethereal sounding 7 track album from New Zealander Alicia Merzís Birds of Passage project grabs you pretty instantly and fairly insistently. At first listen it reminds you of the softer more dark and sadder sounding Swans tracks that Jarboe would sing/write around the time of World of Skin or Children of God with its sparse instrumentation, smooth delicate sounding voice and a lot of feeling.

6 of the songs are a mixture of distorted field recordings and sparse instrumentation written and played by Alicia. On one other piece (Away With the Night) the music was written by Monolyth and Cobalt and whilst still a strong track I feel it looses some of the powerful emotions that the others possess. None of the pieces are what you would call upbeat or uplifting all are tinged with melancholy but the sadness of them rather than making them something to avoid makes these all the more compelling as you listen in hard to make out the lyrics and concentrate more intently on what the songs are trying to convey. 

This is a very unique and beautifully crafted album that easily stands up to repeated listening. DB