[I think I'm going to have problems keeping the tragic, romantic poet inside of me quiet while I review this one - so you'll have to forgive me if I get a bit flowery!]
Spindle Shanks' eponymous debut presents us with ten shimmering tracks showcasing Jeanne Fahey's incredible voice. The result is a soundtrack to the extremes of the heart, from hopeless devotion to scornful dismission (but mostly hopeless devotion ...such is life (sigh) ). Michael Watson's sumptuous keyboard arrangements paint a luxurious backdrop for Jeanne's voice to work on, without once trying to upstage her (for such an effort would be ultimately fruitless).
With lamentations like 'Filthy' and 'Sever My Vine', and more upbeat tracks like 'Sleepless', Spindle Shanks wouldn't be out of place on the 4AD of the late-eighties - but that's not to say that they're not entirely contemporary. In fact the term 'contemporary' is completely redundant here, as this music is timeless - and requires no justification what-so-ever, it simply exists within its own sphere of wonder and beauty.
("Sphere of wonder and beauty"? What the hell are you taking about? Down you hapless poet you, down!)
'April Fools In July' is the perfect close to the album - you can almost envisage the credits rolling up the screen, accompanied by piano and voice, as the album fades serenely to pristine black. (PB)