Between Mouthfuls is the debut four track EP from ex-Bas Jan and Chrome Hoof violinist Sarah Anderson.
Burrow Mump kicks things off with a simple industrial drumbeat. An eery synth motif appears at various points scattered over a constant bass hook. Lyrically it appears to be the story of two people meeting up, presumably at Burrow Mump in Somerset. Burrow Mump is a monument with a ruined church on top of a hill. It perhaps revisits an old relationship, considering reconnecting.
“We’ve grown weeds where our words were, so how do you suppose we’ll speak the truths in our hearts?”
The singing is soulful, complemented with some great backing vocals and occasional strange low pitched Yello-esque vocal effects. Violins sway counter rhythms, and there is a backing vocal part with the same tune as the alien transmission on Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Intentional or not, we dig it. It packs in a lot of interesting ideas and sounds.
The energy generated by Burrow Mump is carried over into Handerover. It opens with scratchy backwards violins and proggy synth flourishes. Deep backing vocals slowly build over a revolving synth bassline, whilst the vocals chant the phrase “Come come don’t do that, find yourself another bed” before things become wacky.
An unexpected and bonkers vocal arrangement and a strange violin burst akin to early dEUS intersect the phrase before everything winds down.
Hold Your Own is perhaps the highlight.
Its cavernous, sparse percussion and subtle simple piano allow Anderson’s vocals to really take centre stage. The message seems to be one of encouragement and strength to protect loved ones from hardship. With all the abstract, atmospheric and otherworldly sounds there is something lyrically very personal and human about this EP.
Kind Words, the final track is real odd-brained song writing. The lyrics are playful yet quite dark. This is set to a pulsating synth, sparse percussion, guitar skronk and vocals that distort, yelp and shift. Think The Knife, but more abstract and unhinged. There is quite a lot of depth to the four songs on ‘Between Mouthfuls’ which could lead Sarah Anderson down several different paths. Veering between funky, soulful, contemplative and downright oddball.
You may enjoy this if you like: Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business, Bas Jan, Kate Bush, The Knife