Album Review: Your Friend – Gumption

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Gumption opens with ‘Heathering’, a deliciously warm, fuzzy folk offering building to a shoegazey wall of noise, led by Taryn Blake Miller’s (aka Your Friend) thick, syrupy voice. Gumption has a wonderfully dreamy, comforting quality to it, like it should soundtrack a scene in a Sofia Coppola film about friendship and sunsets.

Taking the best parts of shoegaze and America’s recent Sufjan Stevens-led folk revival, Your Friend creates a woozy, hypnotic sound that feels like stepping into a warm bath and melting away. ‘Desired Things’ is slow-moving and laconic, somewhere between a ballad and a soundscape, Miller’s vocals sounding almost like another instrument in the fray. ‘Nothing Moved’ has a plodding, mesmerising rhythm; a collection of breathy woodwind instruments punctuated by echoing drums. Her music has a flavour of communing with nature about it, of something pagan or wiccan, but her bewitching folksiness is punctuated by flickers of electronic experimentation adding fuzzy, bubbling textures. Closer ‘Who Will I Be In The Morning?’ opens with ghostly whistling wind, building to a chorus of Miller’s heavily layered vocals, warm and hopeful and dripping with emotion. A delicate, fascinating debut.

[Clare Patterson]

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