Tarantella – Esqueletos

There’s a certain joy about a gig where you know you just have to buy the CD on sale from one of the acts. And, although I may have had a slight wariness that their (improved) performance was going to turn out to be a fluke, I think this was on my stereo before by luggage had even turned up (which wasn’t that long after I got home).

But, Tarantella did not disappoint. The opening title track, probably shows that Morricone influence the best. In fact it shamelessly lifts Cheyenne’s theme from Once Upon A Time In The West, and to fairly wonderful effect.

And, you really can’t ignore his influence on the rest of it, although I don’t think you’re meant to. From the huge sweeping landscape stuff through to the liberal doses of cheap 60s euro-pop that he infused his earlier soundtracks with it’s all here. But, it doesn’t seem like pastiche; more just that’s how you’re meant to play songs like this. Nick Cave would sever a few limbs to come across this lush. There are some passages on here that you just don’t want to stop. Then just as remarkable sneaks up behind it. Man, you wanna see me when the multi-par start-stop Dame Fuego comes on. It makes me thing of Death & The Maiden (the play) and the final please-god-let-no-one-be-watching handclapping dancing at the end of Strictly Ballroom at the same time. Dark but affecting and uplifting. Or something like that.

Oh, and really, really sexy. This is in no small part due to Kal Cahoone’s vocals. Strangely all the reference points I can come up with to give you any indication of what she sounds like should make you want to avoid this like the plague. Siouxsie (without the histrionics) but more natural. PJ Harvey (without the histrionics) but more natural. Warmer. Cahoone really does sound like she could be some accordion squashing femme fatale at the cantina del inferno, as opposed to some posh bird run amok in her mother’s wardrobe.

Interestingly, like the Spookey album, this has two ‘bonus’ tracks that would anyone else would be walking around with a sign saying I made this. Maybe from now on all albums should have stickers on the front proclaiming how many of these tracks are on there, so I know which ones to buy.

Although, I’ve never really been precious about that ‘keeping it to yourself’ mentality (and the indier-than-though all know who you are), there is a bit of a relief about the fact that this will not even hit Laura Cantrell levels of success over here, I really don’t think I could deal with the delicately beautiful Mexican Wine being murdered at every open mic night on these here islands. Oh, and it would.

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Written by Tony Kiernan

04 February 2006 at 5:46 pm

Posted in Records

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