Before falling off the face of the Earth last week, I went to go drink overpriced cranberry juice and witness former Belle and Sebastian-er Isobel Campbell perform at Joe’s Pub. Honestly, the night is a haze–even though I was sitting directly in the front, but I do remember thinking Isobel had an absolutely ethreal voice and that the music would be so lovely to sit there and listen to if–unlike me–the didn’t feel like they were going to die at that moment. After it was all over, I made a beeline for the exit–even whisking past Jason of Product Shop NYC, holding up my hand and simply saying, “I think I’m going to throw up.”
Luckily I have the LP that Isobel was out promoting, called Ballad of the Broken Seas, which she recorded with former Queens of the Stoneage member Mark Lanegan, and I can tell you, it’s hauntingly beautiful. The mixture of Isobel’s angelic voice and Mark’s deep, brooding vox is a perfect combo to make for off-kilter, alarmingly complex music. I think of this album as being the musical equivalent of a Quentin Tarantino film like Kill Bill–sexy, a little uncomfortable, but interesting nonetheless.