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Sunday, 5 May 2019
ALICE TAMBOURINE LOVER - DOWN BELOW (Go Down Records LP, CD).
Previously described as “wandering between lazy Mazzy Star/Cowboy Junkies atmospheres and more gritty moments reminiscent of Mark Lanegan”, Italian duo Alice Tambourine Lover (guitarist Gianfranco Romanelli and singer/guitarist and……erm……tambourine player Alice Albertazzi) are back with an new LP of stripped down ethereal and hauntingly beautiful Spook Blues. For their fourth album for Go Down Records Alice Tambourine Lover have added vivid psychedelic hues to their sonic palette, wrapping their songs in layers of reverb and Shoegaze textures giving Down Below’s minimal Folk/Blues sound a glacial sheen. It’s a record dominated by Romanelli’s guitar collection, mixing together rootsy dobro/resonator guitars and shimmering electric guitars with Alice Albertazzi’s guitar and gorgeous voice finding spaces in between, Alice Tambourine Lover take the idea of the Male/Female Folk/Blues duo into strange uncharted waters.
The first impression of Down Below gives credence to the Mazzy Star comparisons with, for example, the woozy Psych Blues and Folk hybrid ‘Follow’ channeling David Roback’s languid guitar style, however with further listens the record opens up to reveal previously unheard depth and subtlety. Built upon layers of guitars and then immersed in a lake of reverb, Down Below is a beautifully crafted blend of heavenly voices and a swirl of acoustic and electric guitars. There are some wonderful songs here…………..’Dance Away’ is an absolute head rush of guitars twisting around Alice Albertazzi’s strong Bluesy vocals while the mesmerizing ‘Into The Maze’ wouldn't sound out of place on Mazzy Star’s So Tonight That I Might See. The record’s last three tracks, ‘Rubber Land’, ‘Train’ and ‘Surround You’, are a fantastic mix of raw Desert Blues and dreamy Psychedelia that are possibly the best tracks on the LP. Although Alice Tambourine Lover are not doing anything really that new they are able to expertly weld their own idiosyncratic sound onto a Psych Blues/Folk chassis making Down Below one of the more interesting albums we have heard so far this year. You can check it out yourself/stream the album here……………
Out NOW via Go Down Records on vinyl and CD and available from all the usual on line outlets.