Jess Bryant // Silvern // Album // Red Deer Club // 09.08.12
'Dark cinematic folk' is how Jess Bryant's music is described on her Twitter page. Cinematic certainly is an apt description but it's hard to pigeon hole the orchestral 'Silvern', which could be labelled as much with the broad brush of indie as with classical, folk and jazz in differing places.
Musically Bryant's classical influences are clear and also a love of the glockenspiel, which appears nearly in every song. Apparently she is also influenced by writers like Paul Auster and Haruki Murakami who both focus on absurdism and surrealism.
Silvern creates a ethereal and epic sound, with dreamy singing and wandering drum beats. The opening song 'Cutting', which will also be a single release later this month, sets this vibe with long and soaring singing notes juxtaposing the fast paced, almost dancing drums, clarinets, glockenspiels and violins.
The album is crafted into a whole piece of music with each track taking a different movement. It is hard to pick out highlights in something so obviously intended as a whole, right down to final track 'Gravity and Grace', a slow moving song that ends so abruptly that you do begin to wonder whether you ever heard it at all.
After a couple of listens the album does blend into one long dream sequence, which could be the intention but doesn't help it to stick in the mind apart from as a distant and confused memory.
Those who want to judge for themselves will need to be quick; the full length album will be released as a limited edition vinyl and download with only 300 copies with eerie but beautiful cover work by photographer Emily Dennison and designer Louise Gardner.