The splotchy amateur cover to this release does grave injustice to the material within. Jenn Mireau sings in a babydoll voice within a moody pop milieu that once was called 'cold-wave' but is now typified as 'chill'. It's not that there isn't romantic heat here, however; there is, right from the first cut (Lovesong), but it's of a Shelleyan passion rather than the rip-snorting earthy blues variety, of a distanced wistfulness rather than hotblooded excess. Mireau was not informed by Ma Raney, Bessie Smith, and the torch chanteuses but rather Julee Cruise, Gary Newman, John Foxx, Kate Bush, and that estimable crew. Thus, what you hear very much borders on pop-prog, kinda like Goldfrappe and other soma-merchants.
Dreaminess pervades Hush, and it's all the brainchild of Mireau, who dominates the release by being damn near a one-girl band: writing, arranging, singing, playing keyboards, programming, etc. In fact, she's a perfect exposition of what Robert Fripp called the new musician: "the mobile intelligent unit", emphasis on well-schooled acumen. Her willingness to explore the somber glaciality of her foggy kingdom is a key element, experimenting in Hushabye with repeating voices, stripping down in Shine only to build up again in Romantic vapors, then growing Suzanne Vega / Bugglesy in A Little Blue. Hush is actually a long EP, the inclusion of variant versions of two songs bringing the timing up to a full half hour, and it well demonstrates why EPs, normally kinda ignored by critics, are increasingly important in the new brave new musical world.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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