‘Head in the Noose’ is the first single from folk singer Kelly Dance, off her new album Goodnight Berlin due out May 17th via Broken Stone Records / Remote Control.
A showpiece for Dance’s otherworldly voice, ‘Head in the Noose’ is a shifting, tumbling lament over the bare snap of guitar and drums, like Bo Diddley or Sanford Clark at their darkest. Dance’s voice recalls the cracked amber of Karen Dalton and the enigma of Josephine Foster.
Dance is an itinerant artist. She has lived in Australia, Fiji and Indonesia, amongst the clouds in Hong Kong, the flamenco masters in Seville and the afterglow of 24-hour Tescos in London. Goodnight Berlin was mostly recorded over ten days and nights in an East Berlin studio. Dance’s songs are haunted by these places. Half-dreamt, half-imaginary landscapes recur in Goodnight Berlin.
‘Head in the Noose’ sings of lonely cities, empty rooms and pavement slipstreams. Spare and hand-made, with a ghosting of strings, ‘Head in the Noose’ has a subdued grandeur.
It stands out on an album both dark and nostalgic, sweet and unsettling. The warmth of Goodnight Berlin, as well as its strange, unexpected instrumental textures, are a product of its collaborative spirit. Dance joins in duets with Toby Martin from Youth Group and Aidan Roberts from The Maple Trail – the album also features a widescreen ballad penned by Roberts. Guest musicians provide bird-like clarinet lines in ‘Australia’ and the jingles, creaks and sighs in the aptly named ‘Signal’.
Kelly Dance ‘Head In The Noose’ single launch
Wednesday 20th March Arcadia Bar, Redfern NSW (free entry)
‘Head In The Noose’ is available digitally this Friday.