Last year I wrote about an amazing band from Brighton called Birdeatsbaby. They had this brilliant cabaret feel to their music, something which I’d never really enjoyed before until then. More than likely because they had a dark vibe going on. It basically felt like Nick Cave at the circus, it was amazing. Now their lead singer has a solo record out, and it’s a lot darker and I think my ability to not be able to sleep means I’m going to ramble on more than usual. You take the good where you can.
Let’s just firstly appreciate that She Makes War feature on the song Raise The Bar. The guitar kicks in with haunting vocals and nothing else really seems to matter; it’s enough to melt your brain but you cannot help but listen to it intensely. It’s an intense song with a few dramatic build-ups and quiet moments that may spook you. It is bloody excellent.
The title track, Present Company is the perfect opener and just shows how strong her voice is. It also shows how deeply influenced by classical music Mishkin is. Her voice sounds so vulnerable over the piano, think Nick Cave singing Into My Arms. That kind of vulnerable. Then the drums kick in and she develops this attitude that is found in my idol, Patti Smith. A song that sounds so simple is made up of so much. I’ve had it on repeat, I should move onto the rest of the record. The drumming on this song is so furious, it is perfect.
My Body, A Bridge is incredibly chilling. It sounds so eerie and is just so beautifully sad. Some of the best songs ever written are sad. There are no other words to describe them, sad is the only word you can use. I’d probably cry if I wasn’t too tired (and I’m pretty sure I cried enough at Beach House on Tuesday to last a while!) Again, it is so simply composed but you know there is so so much more to it.
The constant vibe surrounding this record is dark. It is probably why I like it. I’m not really one for enjoying songs that are about sunshine and flowers. That isn’t for me. I want poetic words over haunting music. You pretty much get all that and more from Mishkin’s record. She sounds so fearless and in control of every element of this record. How many artists can you sense that from? Not many. She has that raw energy that is found in the likes of Shirley Manson and Courtney Love.
I love how cryptic most of the songs sound, especially on I Want This. Cryptic and slightly menacing, but you don’t really pay too much attention to that because of how strong yet delicate her voice sounds. And also, her piano playing skills are simply gorgeous. This is a person who truly believes in music, more importantly THEIR music, which is how it should be. It is nothing like Birdeatsbaby which is a good thing. Her solo record is a different side to her, but just as divine as the music she makes in Birdeatsbaby.
There can sometimes be beauty in heartache, Present Company demonstrates that in such a careful way with utter truth. Stitches is going to be the song that hits you right in the gut. It is phenomenal.
Present Company is out on the 1st May on Dead Round Eyes Records.