thu 21/10/2021

Album: Catherine Graindorge - Eldorado | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Catherine Graindorge - Eldorado

Album: Catherine Graindorge - Eldorado

Ambient reflections on lockdown and death

'An album that floats heavily in a miasma of blues, greys and blacks'

Catherine Graindorge is a Belgian violinist and composer. Her second album explores the collateral damage of Covid: the dark sounds she produces have a strange beauty but barely surface from a grimness as dense as the mists in fin de siècle paintings of Bruges, the dark "Venice of the North".

She was has written for films and the theatre, and it shows: these are soundscapes that evoke moods and images, avoiding the linear forms of narrative. There are drones. There is noise. Her violin, when it is allowed to be heard above the atmospheric din, is played without virtuosic flourishes, but contributes instead to the funereal feel of tracks like “Lockdown”. This is the claustrophobia of grief – Graindorge, who has worked with Nick Cave among others, no stranger to the exorcism of loss, is mourning the death of her father, and Eldorado, which she admits was a kind of diary, gives quiet vent to her deepest emotions.

John Parish has produced the album. He has been PJ Harvey's most constant producer and fellow-musician. There is no surface similarity between the two women, and yet Graindorge and Harvey are distant cousins – musicians who dig deep, speak from the soul and take no prisoners. Parish is the perfect partner, alert to the sombre moods of the Belgian violinist, and yet offering complementary support, as he does on “Eno” – a homage to Brian, whose ambient spirit haunts Graindorge’s sound. Parish’s guitar work sounds both lyrical and sweetly generic, while fitting well into the drone-heavy music that runs through the whole album. This last track is the only one that hints at some kind of peace and resolution, a welcome and heart-stirring close to an album that floats heavily in a miasma of blues, greys and blacks.

Watch the video of "Lockdown"

John Parish is the perfect partner, alert to the sombre moods of the Belgian violinist

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Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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