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Birthh - Born in the Woods

  by Steve Kinrade

published: 8 / 11 / 2016

Birthh - Born in the Woods
Label: We Were Never Being Boring
Format: CD


Claustrophobic and exhausting but ultimately rewarding debut album from Birthh, the moniker for 19 year old Florence-based singer-songwriter Alice Bisi

It is 1978 and Tony Wilson, of Factory Records and Granada TV presenter fame, pops into Liverpool’s Probe Records. He asks Geoff Davies for the latest Leonard Cohen album. “Throwing a party, Tony?” fires back Geoff. And although Birthh's 'Born in the Woods' cannot be compared to Leonard Cohen, this is not a work of singular jocularity. This offering of Alice Bisi’s alter ego is bleak, desperate stuff. Track titles such as 'Prelude for the Lonely', 'Queen of Failureland' and 'Interlude for the Hopeless' clearly signpost the narrative and lyrical themes of this collection of ten short songs. The production to reflect these inner workings of a mind wracked with emotional turmoil is one of “down-tempo ambient atmospheres”. It is of glacial melancholy, the limited, monotonous sonic palatte mirroring the lyrical bleakness perfectly. For example, during 'Interlude for the Lifeless' she intones the line “This is how I want to die” six times, and that is the sole lyrical content of the song. With 'Senses', however, her line “…and kill my sense now, I don’t mind/If you want death darling, death you’ll find” could be a paraphrase from a conversation between Macbeth and his Lady. Listening to these tracks is akin to a counselling session where the artist overwhelms you with their emotional rationale for their artistic existence. For the greater part, 'Born in the Woods' is claustrophobic and exhausting. Only 'Bahnhof' - a delightful acoustic number - offers any stylistic relief to this essay of deep despair. 'Born in the Woods' finally succeeds as it demands your attention to bear witness to this fragmented outpouring, to acknowledge the sensibility of the artist who is staring into their emotional void. It benefits richly from continual revisits, as to do so will be to de-sensitise yourself from the anguish, and to recognise the aching beauty that lies amongst this dislocation.

Track Listing:-
1 Prelude for the Loveless
2 Chlorine
3 Queen of Failureland
4 Interlude for the Lifeless
5 Senses
6 Wraith
7 If You Call Me Love
8 Interlude for the Hopeless
9 (Bahnhof)
10 For the Heartless

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