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Annette Farrington | Azure Wonder Lust | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop
Azure Wonder & Lust (Castle Von Buhler)
by Jamie Kiffel
Take four Arabian melodies, half an African rhythm, a flute that pumps, synth that scratches, and one woman's feral voice. Blow through with thunderclouds, and gently bless. The result? Earth-Goth, perhaps, Incense-House... or Annette Farrington, revered in her previous incarnation as the lead singer for Opium Den. Azure Wonder & Lust is complex, samples-rich, echoey, wah-full and skittered up with instrumental comments that blow and crawl and scuttle in all directions. There's even a Disney-fied flute lilt at the end of "I Might Not Be Here"... followed immediately with a blackened bunch of charred guitars and seared samples. This is happily unpredictable stuff as thick and funky as Grace Slick with Annie Lennox's romantic soul.
The disc's packaging - a poetic picture of the music - is worth noting: A translucent violet case with a blue-and-indigo series of woodland imagery, each silhouetted in the shape of an animal or leaf. Handwritten lyrics cover blurry images of the dream-eyed Farrington, who leans up against a giant tree draped in black. Briefly, there is a spatter of orange. She's too alive to be a sprite, too delicate to be a rocker.
From sweating, shake down-the-rainforest drums to whistling shadows of sound, Farrington lights an herbal blend and roars up a junglefire. Shocking, pleasing, occasionally frightening and constantly entertaining, she spans the globe and comes back with the mixed-up noise of the atmosphere. If you can decipher the way she wove these impossibly different elements into a seamless whole, surely you'll hear the sound of magic being cast.
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