Esben And The Witch – 'Wash the Sins Not Only the Face' album review

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Esben And The Witch – 'Wash the Sins Not Only the Face'

  • Rated as: 3/5

It’s dark outside, which is just how Esben And The Witch like it. This Brighton band know that in the half-light between dreaming and waking the world looks entirely different – full of things terrifying and wonderful. The indie trio’s second album is sublime (in the gothic sense), brooding and a notch or two above your average ‘Twilight’ movie soundtrack. Its lyrics are stream-of-consciousness mantras: ‘supine/ divine/ lost in dream time’, coos singer Rachel Davies on ‘Slow Wave’. Below her dramatic, Nico-esque vocals, guitar melodies churn in currents of reverb and delay. It’s a sound somewhere between the levity and fuzziness of Beach House and the macabre romanticism of Warpaint, but lacking some of the precision and originality of those two bands. In a word ‘Wash the Sins Not Only the Face’ is sleepy – warm and enjoyable, but tantalisingly close to dropping off into gothic cliché.


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