Janet Feder – ‘T H I S C L O S E’ [Review]

Janet Feder

Just when you thought you’d heard it all.

Before you press play on the player below, make sure you have headphones to hand. T H I S C L O S E absolutely demands it; there are too many deep-mix details that you won’t want to miss.

Janet Feder’s name is synonymous with prepared guitar, a forward-thinking style that requires a six-string to be augmented by placing assorted objects on or under its strings. Add in a fully immersive production job and exotic additional instrumentation, from plucked piano to shattering glass and thrown buckets, and you have something that sits decisively in the realm of the avant-garde.

Don’t let that hyphenated term put you off, though. T H I S C L O S E contains plenty of delicately crafted compositions, during which every odd nuance is employed not as a gimmick, but as key a musical component as chords and notes. On each of T H I S C L O S E‘s three vocal-led tracks, you can expect an intimate and disarmingly vulnerable voice delivering direct and haunting lyrics amid music as all-encompassing and unpredictable as weather patterns.

This isn’t music solely for the dusty archives of academia. It’s music for the heart and soul.

T H I S C L O S E is filled with darkness and beauty in equal measure. Take in Ticking Time Bomb‘s candid lyricism; No Apology‘s sparse reluctance; the way Happy Everyday, You‘s vibrating-object-on-string tremolo completes a latin-spiced piece and You As Part Of A Whole utilizes awkwardly dissonant chords, seething bass, and percussion treading on eggshells; and She Sleeps With The Sky – a seven-minute voyage through a series of emotionally evocative movements and moments. Finally, you’ll reach T H I S C L O S E‘s ten-minute title track, split between stretched-out languid minimalism laid out on top of stuttering glitches, and what sounds like tape loops of distant dark chimes merged with what I’d guess is a dramatically slowed-down cymbal.

This is an album that raises more questions than it answers. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.


Links / Listen

Janet Feder official website.

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Posted on 15 November 2015

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