Singer Brooke Campbell's The Escapist isn't a music CD, it's an art piece waiting for itself to complete. That, after all, has become the nature of EPs: to beckon and tantalize. She possesses an oft whispery very female voice that settles like a bird into a chamber ambiance of cellos and violins at first billowing like a Harold Budd composition until the Björk / Kate Bush encantations center everything and direct the arrangements. The autumn beauty of each piece is best described as 'sublime', with as much hiding tremulously as emerging and warming itself in the setting sun. Near the close of Sparkle, as in Ice Covers the North, the strings rise and enfold her once more, splicing the mysterious with the earthy.
Sugar Spoon is quite Rickie Lee Jones-ish, circa that magnificent first LP, and it's here that a wisely chosen set of percussive decorations appear and embellish the keening atmospherics, ornamentalia within a sketchily lush skyscape. This continues into Invalid, where Campbell dons vocal raiment of clear strong verses in front of a Tori Amos lovelorn piano, a recital for a theater of wistful ghosts, echoes slowly swirling through the velvet curtained shafts of night dust and shadowy spaces. When everything drifts off into the distance, you're left waiting for the second act, and that's why EPs find their way to the stage. They're clever devices.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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