It's "Harpswell Sound" and "Don't Move" that make this album, though. The first is a nice nod to Ron Harrity, who helped deliver an iconic sound with his band Harpswell Sound and produced Isobell's first album. Working this time with Todd Hutchisen, the sounds continue to be artfully organic, with guitars that skitter around and are restless and a heavily echoing reverb on the organ. There's an Animals vibe, and impatient drive that leads Tarkinson to riff on syllables like Sting calling out an SOS.
"Nothing I've had compares, lover," she sneers.
"Don't Move" is slinky and chic. It has some lounge jazz to it, calling to mind a gal on the top of a piano in a tight dress that billows out around her heals, and maybe a cigarette in a holder. This tune is notable mostly for the instrumental break, which is an absolute jam, and the positively tortured emotional tone Tarkinson uses to pull out of it.
It gets your attention. This is the kind of album that's worthy of all of your focus, with plenty of aural stimuli. But the live experience is likely to be that much better. ^
SEA SPELLS | Released by Isobell | with Olas + the Reverie Machine | at SPACE Gallery, in Portland | June 1 | isobell.com
: CD Reviews
, Hannah Tarkinson, ISOBELL