Christine Owman - Throwing Knives
Midnight Circus Blues lives on in the jaundiced but whimsical heart of Christine Owman. Surely Tom Waits and Nick Cave live deeply in the corner of her imagination. "Throwing Knives," a collaboration with drummer Erik Nilsson, also owes a bit to beer-hall pop of Boister, but this is not meant to imply that we've heard this all before. We haven't. Owman proves over and over on this ten song, half-hour set that old weird America lives as genuinely skewed and vibrant as the names just dropped.
The opener, "Spelling Words" is really the only time Owman employs her cello at center stage, which is too bad, as it drives and mocks the melody with equal relish. Country shuffle meets dirge on many tracks, most powerfully on "Circles" and "Apart." Harrowing is the only word to describe the abstract noir of "Dance" and "Ffwd." Almost outrageously, "The agreement" and "I Live I Die" are creepy stabs at ambient pop. Clearly Owman is not interested in being pinned down. Her id is running free here. The record ends with the muffled, scarred monotone of "Goodnight." Think "My Mummy's Dead" meets every Mo Tucker tune.
Cellist Christine Owman keeps her main axe in check on "Throwing Knives," but lets her songwriting and her Lynchian poetic/ warped melodic sense. This is a memorable record, one that gets richer with repeated listens. More than one song will dig into you, and stay there.
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