Wednesday, July 8, 2009

2001 : 37 Scout Niblett

It only took one song to suck me in and make me a life-long Scout Niblett fan. Her voice warbles and waves, backed up by strong direct stripped-down guitar and (sometimes) drums. Contradictions abound: she sounds childlike and innocent on one song, yet ancient and wise on another; her bluesy tales sound like they surfaced from the depths of a Louisiana Bayou, yet she hails from Britain. Add to this the fact that Scout (nee Emma Louise) has a penchant for wigs, costumes, and astrology and we end up with an enigmatic character indeed.

On "Miss My Lion," the first song of hers I ever heard, Scout seduces her listener with a hot tale of passion. A one-person band of voice and guitar has never sounded so lush and earthy as it does here. She sings, "when you drive, there's no fooling me, those roads invited me" and the song does feel like late a night trip down a windy road. (And a hot make-out session in the back seat.) Fully deserving of comparisons to Cat Power, PJ Harvey, and Kurt Cobain, Scout is an absolute force to be reckoned with.

E.P. Johnson

Listen: Scout Niblett >> "Miss My Lion"

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