Thursday, 16 August 2007


1. Campfire Resemblance

2. On This Side

3. Aron

4. Forest On Fire

5. Shipwreck

6. Swastika

7. Downward

"Seattle's Jessy Fortino is a solo acoustic singer-songwriter who against all odds manages to stand out from the very large crowd, not by merit of any tricks or recording skulduggery, but purely on the strength of her songs. What Fortino lacks in the way of a big freak folk-style voice (a la Diane Cluck, Josephine Foster, Joanna Newsom et al) she more than makes up for in terms of the writing itself. The first obvious comparison is early Cat Power: Fortino has that same icy intensity of delivery Chan Marshall summons up. This is especially true of 'Campfire Resemblance', which has a glacial, slowed down country blues feel to it, and sees Fortino wringing every drop of emotive possibility out of its two-chord structure. Slightly more lively is 'On This Side' which brings to mind Kristin Hersh's finest solo material - there's the same sort of barbed intonation, the same vocal intensity. Something of a departure arrives by the time we reach 'Forest On Fire', a simple major-to-minor chord change played out over a bed of subtle synth drone and infernal guitar distortion. It's rather rare for a strummed acoustic guitar album to hold attention in the current over-saturated climate, but Hands Across The Void manages to do just that."

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