In an effort to neatly categorise, there are some that will try to package this enigmatic Brighton trio as either a British version of the highly lauded Zola Jesus or Fever Ray, but this is the point where the age old expression “banging round pegs through square holes” rears its head. Because although there are many similarities between these acts, through the course of ‘Violet Cries’’ ten tracks this easy-breazy comparison proves to be slightly ill-fitting. With a healthy habit of marrying twitching electronics to ghostly, spirited realness.

Esben And The Witch’s debut album can stand proudly as a delicately crafted, maturely dark album that melds an almost gothic vibe to exposed hauntingly musical backdrops and powerfully touching vocals that flit between recalling Diamanda Galas at her most controlled or the dynamically rich Beth Gibbons, which will surely only further encourage comparisons to Portishead. Time will only tell how Esben And The Witch evolve in the future, but at present there is little arguing against the notion that ‘Violet Cries’ is a very special album.

By Nathan Westley

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