By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)
It would be easy enough to sell you on Jen Gloeckner’s new record Vine solely by naming the talent she’s worked with, ranging from Henry Padovani of The Police fame to The Psychedelic Fur’s Josh Aston. However, to simply name a list of famous men to persuade you to listen to a woman not only seems sexist but is entirely unnecessary: after all, her music does enough to shake off any doubts that you might be wasting your time.
What better track to display the ambient marvel of Gloeckner than the eponymously titled opening track that eerily unravels throughout the song’s short running time. Clocking in at just under three minutes, Vine manages to get the record off on the right foot with polished fairy-tale like production being paired up with an ominous atmosphere, fuelled entirely by Gloeckner‘s haunting vocal performance which will be enough to make you feel simultaneously calm yet uneasy.
Comparing any female vocalist that manages to deliver her lines beautifully without breaking a sweat to Lana Del Rey is too easy a trope to fall into though Gloeckner‘s seems to draw similarities not only in her vocals but instrumentally as well. Breathe is a class example of this as, while Gloeckner‘s voice remains very much the same, the squeaky, invading synths hark back to something you’d expect to hear off a Massive Attack record, seeping out of the track’s every pore in a horror like fashion though one you can’t help but stand in awe at.
The record isn’t completely flawless: for every Breathe there’s another track that pales in comparison and Gloeckner‘s never seems to quite push her vocals into any territory other than being sufficient at the task in hand. Despite these gripes, Vine is a surprisingly enjoyable record, even if it may do so in an unusual manner.