Saturday, August 25, 2007

Whistler--Whistler (1999)

Release Date-1999
Genre/Style-Alternative Pop/Rock Indie-Rock

Official site- (Several samples are available)

Biography-Putting his days as a member of EMF behind him, Ian Dench — armed with only his acoustic guitar — began his collaboration with vocalist Kerry Shaw back in 1996 under the name Whistler. After recruiting violinist James Topham, who also played with Brian Eno, Whistler gigged around England as a three piece before releasing their 1998 single "Rare American Shoes." With their talent of combining Kerry's crisp, but soothing voice that leads on the sensible combination of drowning violins and rhythmic guitars, their second single "If I Give You a Smile" was released that same year and caught on to the acclaim of NME and Melody Maker. Their self-titled full length was released on Wiiija the following year. Whistler returned in early 2001 with Faith In The Morning.

Review-The harmonica and carefree mood of "If I Give You a Smile" kicks off the self-titled debut by British trio Whistler. The album's second single, "Don't Jump in Front of My Train," follows on track two. Kerry Shaw's vocals and insightful lyrics are highlighted throughout. Ian Dench, formerly of EMF, serves as Whistler's guitarist, performing sparse arrangements with James Topham's viola. The occasional frantic drum beat adds surprise to the generally hypnotic and gorgeous folk-pop. The jew's-harp at the beginning of "Rare American Shoes" inexplicably serves as percussion to Topham's enchanting viola. The band is at its best when they focus on melodies, like on "Heaven Help Me," where Shaw's vocals are eerily reminiscent of Amelia Fletcher's, of British indie pop acts Heavenly and Marine Research. The simple, gorgeous instrumentation is at its best when the ingredients are simple and uplifting. The disc ends with "Please Don't Love Me Anymore," on which Shaw's pensive vocals lead the way.

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