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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Record Review - Madam 'Gone Before Morning'

Gone Before Morning

Madam, the London-based band led by the vaporous voice of Sukie Smith, return with their second album. Gone Before Morning’s icy minimalism slashes the atmosphere of the room as soon as the sound leaves the speakers.

Musically, it follows a nocturnal, bassy-y blues trail; To Bring You My Love-era PJ Harvey is perhaps the most obvious comparison (particularly on ‘Marine Boy’). There’s much shade, and very little light here: while the break-up song ‘If You’re Looking For A Way Out’ is obviously a bitter pill, the mood is even more unsettling on the lyrical feather ‘Weekend Love’ (“I woke up dreaming about you/I turned round/and there you were”). Any optimism is completely, and brilliantly, undercut by stark drums and uneasy vocals: a deft streak of black humour.

Somehow this reminds me of the soundtrack to a short film. It would play over shots of scarred skin sown up after botched surgery.

Jeanette Leech

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