Bowery Electric Lushlife (Beggars Banquet)

SXSW Records

Record Reviews

Bowery Electric

Lushlife (Beggars Banquet)

Lushlife, the third outing from NYC soothesters Bowery Electric, is a morphine drip of an album, so clear and precise in its smokey, sexy grooves that it seems almost too easy to compare them to fellow late-night nodders Portishead. Vocalist Martha Schwendener certainly fits the bill, though, not so much singing as gently exhaling all over your libido. Opener "Floating World" sets the tone, a mournful dirge of programmed beats over which floats Schwendener's near-death-experience of a voice, haunting and haunted. "Freedom Fighter," a gloom-and-doom epic of sonic distress, emotional and otherwise, includes a nod to Seventies singer-songwriting suicide Nick Drake, while the closing "Passages" offers a glimpse of hope amongst the savages. With their subdued theatricality and lush strings, there's also a hint of Julee Cruise here as well, though like their name, Bowery Electric are a distinctly New York after-hours consortium, showing up on your doorstep at 2am looking like a sad, soggy kitten, hungry for milk and more. Yummy. (Lawrence Chandler of Bowery Electric spins before the Beggars Banquet showcase, Thursday, Buffalo Billiards, 7pm)

****

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