Mercury Rev annunciano oggi il loro nuovo album Bobbie Gentry's The Delta Sweete Revisited, in uscita l'08 febbraio su Bella union. L'album è una rivisitazione del capolavoro dimenticato di Bobby Gentry e vede la collaborazione di numerose cantanti, tra le quali Norah Jones, Hope Sandoval, Beth Orton, Lucinda Williams, Rachel Goswell, Vashti Bunyan, Marissa Nadler, Susanne Sundfør, Phoebe Bridgers, Margo Price, Kaela Sinclair, Carice Van Houten e Laetitia Sadier.
Bobbie Gentry's The Delta Sweete Revisited è il tributo devoto e affettuoso ad un album che aveva anticipato di ben tre decadi il loro album definitivo del 1998 Deserter's Songs, una spedizione nell'America trascendentale. Dal loro rifugio per registrare, nelle Catskill Montains di New York, i membri fondatori Jonathan Donahue e Grasshopper con Jesse Chandler (precedentemente nella band texana Midlake) onorano il trionfo creativo di Gentry con ingegno ed eleganza. E non sono soli. Le storie di Gentry sono portate a nuova vita da un cast di cantanti tra le quali Hope Sandoval dei Mazzy Star; Laetitia Sadier, un tempo negli Stereolab; Marissa Nadler; Margo Price, la nuova star del country dal cuore punk rock; Susanne Sundfør dalla Norvegia in "Tobacco Road"; Beth Orton in "Courtyard"; Phoebe Bridgers che come un angelo porta calma e conforto in "Jessye' Lisabeth".
Nell'LP del 1968 Gentry apre con un richiamo esultante, "Okolona River Bottom Band", come se stesse conducendo un ballo in un granaio con i Rolling Stones e gli Hot Five di Louis Armstrong. Norah Jones introduce se stessa con sensualità, come Sarah Vaughan a capo di un coro. In "Sermon", Margo Price canta come una sopravvissuta all'esplosione di colore e groove innescata dai Mercury Rev: un pezzo forte nella storia del band, con The Light In You del 2015 e See You on the Other Side del 1995.
Gentry è ancora presente nonostante i cambiamenti. Il suo altalenare dall'orgoglio al dolore nella confusione malinconica di "Penduli Pendulum" ("When goodbye serves as/My one amusement") è ancora più esplicito nella versione di Vashti Bunyan che con la sua intimità si pone in contrasto alla brillantezza giovanile di Kaela Sinclair, ora parte del progetto elettronico M83. E in "Courtyard", il finale disperato di archi e arpeggi di chitarra diventa, grazie ai Mercury Rev un krautrock dove la cantante inglese Beth Orton vaga, come Gentry, attraverso le rovine di una perdita profonda e memorie lontane.
"Ode To Billie Joe" non c'è nella versione del '68 di Delta Sweete. Ma i Mercury Rev tornano a quel tavolo imbandito per la cena, con Lucinda Williams, creando un legame ispirato, richiamando i fantasmi e i problemi del Sud, ancora presenti. Gentry, che si ritirò dalle scene negli anni '70, pare che viva ad un paio d'ore di macchina dal ponte che la rese famosa, mentre gli spiriti che libera con The Delta Sweete sono ancora irrequieti e coinvolgenti come 50 anni fa.
It slipped out of a Mississippi of hot biscuits, genteel table manners and working-class sense, suddenly overturned by a grave sinning and suicide. Carried on an evening breeze of strings and a supple, foreboding voice like sensually charged breath, "Ode to Bilie Joe"—Bobbie Gentry's 1967 debut as a singer-songwriter and a Number One single for three weeks in the late Summer of Love—was the most psychedelic record of that year not from San Francisco or London, as if Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Brian Wilson had conspired to make a country-rock Pet Sounds. Except Gentry, just 23 when she wrote the song, got there first, in miniature.
Gentry's hit was a revolutionary act, a quietly thorough feminism in vision, deed and success amid the strict, paternal order of the country-music industry. And it was her license to thrill again. In October 1967, while "Billie Joe" was still in the Top Five, Gentry began recording The Delta Sweete, a connected set of a dozen songs that extended the narrative dynamics of that single with personal reflection and set her folk-siren charisma in a richer frame of dream-state orchestration, swamp-rock guitars and big-city-R&B horns.
In her eight original songs for the album, Gentry drew from her childhood and church life on her grandparents' farm in Chickasaw County, Mississippi: the girl-ish craving for a beautiful dress in "Reunion"; the rise-and-shine of "Mornin' Glory"; the stern Sunday lessons in "Sermon," based on a traditional hymn also known as "Run On." The covers were boldly chosen: Mose Allison's chain-gang blues "Parchman Farm"; "Tobacco Road"'s litany of trial; the Cajun pride in Doug Kershaw's "Louisiana Man". Gentry also turned them to new purpose and even gender. "Gonna get myself a man, one gonna treat me right," she sang in Jimmy Reed's "Big Boss Man" with heated assurance.
But The Delta Sweete—released in March, 1968, only three months after Dylan's John Wesley Harding and right as the Byrds came to Nashville to cut Sweetheart of the Rodeo—was too soon in its precedence. Gentry's LP, the first country-rock opera, was ignored on arrival, not even cracking Billboard's Top 100. It was as if Billie Joe had risen out of the Tallahatchie River and thrown that record off the bridge instead.
AFX wrote: ↑06 Oct 2018 14:16https://ipecac.com/artists/daughters
You Won’t Get What You Want
October 26, 2018
primo LP per Ipecac
If anybody else said it, you might flip them off on principle alone…
However, by titling their 2018 fourth full-length and debut for Ipecac Recordings, You Won’t Get What You Want, Daughters send a crystal clear message. The quartet—Alexis Marshall [vocals], Nick Sadler [guitar], Jon Syverson [drums], and Sam Walker [bass]—once again follow the same internal compass that guided them to blur the lines of fickle heavy music sub-genres in the first place and quietly ignite a cult fervor typically reserved for grindhouse phenomena.
In fact, the best way to describe the philosophy and the sound of the quartet is simply: rock ‘n’ roll.
“I've always felt we decide what a Daughters record is,” Alexis exclaims. “It's not a sound or an aesthetic. Daughters is the name of our group and, we will do whatever we want to do with it. If that's a jazz record or an opera, then that's the decision we've made. With that, this feels like the natural progression of things musically.”
“We’ve changed our sound from record to record since the beginning,” says Nick. “We always had a very broad interest and taste in music across the spectrum. This is another moment in which we pay tribute to the history of rock ‘n’ roll as we like it. Since we are a rock band at heart, expect not to expect anything.”
Nick acknowledges there was a time expecting another Daughters record might’ve been met with disappointment. On the heels of their 2010 self-titled offering, the members engaged an indefinite hiatus. Three years later, Robotic Empire founder (and avowed fan) Andy Low tricked Nick and Alexis into meeting for dinner.
“He called me and said, ‘Alexis reached out to me, and he’d be open to getting together and trying to make amends with you’,” recalls Nick. “What I didn’t know was, he said the same thing about me to Alexis! In the end, neither was true. Nevertheless, Alexis and I got dinner. Within ten minutes, we looked at each other like, ‘Let’s make a new album!’”
“I'd have to equate it to getting the family together for the holidays,” Alexis elaborates. “No one needs to be introduced; there's no feeling-out process. We sat down, and the conversation came without being forced. The Daughters talk was almost instantaneous. I'm normally an anxious over-thinker, but none of that came into play that night. It felt inevitable.”
In hindsight, that might’ve been the easiest part. Two sold out hometown shows in Providence during 2013 and accompanying Dillinger Escape Plan during the influential group’s final live shows in 2017 bookended the next four years. Throughout that period, the band recorded, but life continued to “happen.” Jon split his time between a gig as a professional tour manager and Daughters, while Sam got married, settled in Cranston, and assumed the role of Brewmaster for a beer company. In addition to fronting Fucking Invincible, Alexis collaborated with Paul Barker of Ministry that coincided with the industrial legends’ documentary The Fix: The Ministry Movie, and he became a dad (twice). Meanwhile, Nick played in Fang Island, Mythless, Way Out, and a worship band for a local church (it’s a long story)—in addition to crafting music for Vans, Converse, Alien Workshop, Oxbow Beer, and various short films and trailers. Along the way, Nick would be diagnosed with Lyme Disease.
“It was a whole lot of shit between those shows in 2013 and now,” sighs Nick. “It was life stuff, but it was also about trying to figure out an angle that felt good, fresh, and progressive with respect to the band. However long it took to do something quality, we did that. We didn’t force or rush anything. In that respect, we resumed what we’ve always done. The purpose was to just make a record and play shows.”
Culling down a Dropbox of 150 ideas, the musicians recorded the ten comprising You Won’t Get What You Want. The minimal wail of first single “Satan In The Wait” belies Alexis’s intense spoken word-style delivery as gothic keys magnetically draw the spotlight.
“I’m super proud of the restraint ‘Satan In The Wait’ has,” Nick exclaims. “It’s pretty minimal, selective, and more dynamic than many of our other songs. Alexis’s lyrics seem to be pretty fucking apt. He really surprised me. It’s quite perfect. It’s very Daughters, but it’s also very complementary to the music. It’s probably the coolest song on the record. It’s the truest to what I want to be doing with my time and music. As a person, it represents me more than any of the other songs. It’s Daughters reduced.”
Alexis reveals, “I had originally approached the song in a more minimalist fashion. I was really hoping to capture an early Killing Joke vibe. The more I worked on the track, the more I began to find a story and I began to approach the song as a narrative. It's a story of a simple character, dissociative, and a bit detached from family and society. I was keying into this sort of Cormac McCarthy- or William Faulkner-type America. The character discovers this devilish individual—possibly in his mind or his dreams—and he decides, at the pressing of this devil, to begin murdering, indiscriminately.”
Follow-up “The Reason They Hate Me” hinges mechanized riffing and glitchy electronics as the frontman’s haunting and hypnotic intonation curls around the hook. “I jokingly say it seems like a fingerless leather glove to me,” laughs Nick. “We let our guard down with respect to what we do. It’s simple and sharp.”
Elsewhere, “Less Sex” dips into a bluesy guitar that could’ve easily soundtracked a dark moment of True Detective Season 1, while the seven-minute “Ocean Song” spirals into numbing noise oblivion.
In the end, if you want a Daughters record, you’ll get it here.
“We’re getting what we wanted out of it,” Nick leaves off. “As I get older, I like the concept of just sharing things with other people and being somewhat considerate of the folks who listen to music. For all of the nihilism and pessimism we might be associated with, I hope the album provides more ways to connect with others.”
“I hold no hopes,” concludes Alexis. “Obviously, we would like people to respond positively and enjoy the record, come see us play and so on, but that is completely out of our hands. We've molded this piece of art and now we send it out into the world, hope for the best. Indifference is the true enemy of art—and that falls on the shoulders of the artist as well as the interpreter.”