Nick Drake was the first dark folk singer, followed by some other big names such as Jeff Buckley. Since then, dark folk has always been swinging between folk-pop and gloomy blues, almost being infused with dreamy tunes, especially thanks to the new trend of glockenspiel and strings. Herself is a solo project that chooses a moniker to release his fourth full lenght and the first published by Deambula Records. Gioele Valenti is an Italian songwriter who distances himself from the Italian songwriting tradition, to embrace the American past and present artists, such as Chad Vaangalen, Jonathan Wilson and Eddie Vedder. “Herself” hints at some blues gloomy tunes (“Strangler Who’s Me”) still keeping its folk core with acoustic guitar and a minimalist approach (“Sugar Free Punk Rock”, “Funny Creatures”). Strings are used not only to create a jazzy and lounge atmosphere (“Tempus Fugit”, “Outside The Church”), but also to interact with the traditional acoustic guitar in a Q&A that almost couples with the vocals in “Something In This House”. If Herself can be compared to Jonathan Wilson for the experimental approach to the instrumental side (like the Western-like track “Passed Away” or the surprisingly dusty and distorted approach of “The River”), folk and dreamy are still the main ingredients of this album (“Here We Are”), that I’d almost compare to Drugstore’s new release “Anatomy” for its high level of melancholy. The main flaw of these tracks is the almost constant whispering voice accompanied by loud instrumental sides. This ploy (intentional or not) does not really convey a particular message, but almost gets the vocals mixed with the instrumentation, losing a bit of the lyrics and a lot of the magic of the full length. Herself shows to have developed his own style, that’s not only coming from a well-established tradition, but also adding some contemporary trends to it. Not bad at all.
[box title=”English Version: Herself – Herself” color=”#5C0820″]
Strangler Who’s Me | Here We Are | Funny Creatures | Tempus Fugit | Violence Is For Leaders | Outside The Church | The River | Tempus Fugit #2 | Passed Away | Luna Park | Sugar Free Punk Rock | Something In This House | How You Killed Me [/box]