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Emma Tricca – Relic

Emma Tricca – 'Relic' album review

Folk, electronica and film soundtracks feed into these sharp but shifting songs

By Tom Huddleston

Italian-born, Hackney-based folk princess Emma Tricca follows her fragile 2009 LP ‘Minor White’ with this stronger and subtly stranger effort: a drifting and dreamlike work of intimate reflection and otherworldly angst. As the title suggests, Tricca takes her musical cues from the past: her touchstone is early ’60s Greenwich Village, but there are hints of other eras here too – Italian giallo soundtracks, Eno-esque ambience, neo-classical drones – in the semi-electronic backdrops, muted sound effects and quivering strings which haunt almost every track.

But the defining instrument is Tricca’s voice, which has begun to develop away from a light, Baez-ian trill and into something more gutsy and soulful – a touch affected at times, perhaps, but backed with real steel. Opener (and, in a reprise version, closer) ‘Golden Chimes’ sets the scene with a crisp acoustic guitar, a rising melody and a rumbling undercurrent of unease. ‘Sunday Reverie’ opens with heavy choral reverb before settling back into comfortable trad-folk, ‘All The Pretty Flowers’ introduces a wonderfully unexpected fuzzy surf guitar, while ‘Distant Screen’ combines pulsating harmonium and muted Morricone trumpets.

The result is a quiet triumph: an album of shifting moods and tones, its crisp autumnal sweetness underlaid and enriched by ominous backing and swells of sudden, unexpected colour.
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