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Joker's Daughter - The Last Laugh

  by Sarah Rowland

published: 7 / 7 / 2009

Joker's Daughter - The Last Laugh
Label: Double Six Records
Format: CD


Distinctive-sounding debut album from Joker's Daughter, the folk project of vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Helene Costas, and which features production work from Danger Mouse

'The Last Laugh' is not an album you’d automatically associate with producer Brian ‘Danger Mouse’ Burton. The folky acoustic roots of the Joker's Daughter, aka Helena Costas, set the tone of the album. But it is the production that elevates the songs away from the well trodden path of folk music and gives it a distinctive sound. By track four of Costas debut, 'Lucid', the Danger Mouse influence is clear. What could have been a simple jangly folk tune takes on new ground with a dense layer of sounds behind it. The most noticeable is what sounds like a synth set to a toy gun. It shouldn’t work but it does. 'JD Folk Blues' sees Costas' voice relax into a slow smoky riff that ends way too soon at 1.40 minutes. It rolls into the title track, a sweeping instrumental with more of an electronic backdrop. ‘Under the Influence of Jaffa Cakes’ has quirky inventive lyrics as the title would suggest. A sense of humour runs through the album and again sets it apart from other oh-so-serious folk music. 'Cake and July' continues the food theme and brings in a heavy string section. Violin was the first instrument mastered by Costas and strings feature continually in the album. Chasing Ticking Crocodile is a darker track with a circus styled keyboard riff that adds a menacing tone to the song. It is heavily stylised and reminiscent of other work from the Danger Mouse back catalogue such as Gnarls Barkley. The album is an impressive introduction to Joker’s Daughter. The collaboration between Costas and Danger Mouse came after she began sending demos to him in 2003. Her perseverance paid off and the result is an album that brings together very different sounds and leaves a sweet and tangy taste behind.

Track Listing:-
1 Worm's Head
2 Jessie The Goat
3 Go Walking
4 Lucid
5 JD Folk Blues
6 The Last Laugh
7 Under The Influence Of Jaffa Cakes
8 Jelly Belly
9 Cake And July
10 Chasing Ticking Crocodile
11 Nothing Is Ever What It Seems
12 The Running Goblin
13 The Bull Bites Back
14 Yellow Teapot

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