There aren’t a huge number of comparisons you can instantly drag out of your brain’s musical hyperspace when an album begins with a glistening chamber-pop groove and Sabina Sciubba’s thick, Nico-infused atonal vocal singing “I’m dancing with the clouds / romancing with the clouds”.
Best known for her role fronting Grammy Award-winning Brazilian Girls, her own solo rebirth (Force Majeure being the first full-length under her own name in six years) sounds fresh and exploratory, excellently sidestepping being a retrogressive throwaway whilst still paying homage to the scenes that birthed it. Sciubba’s explorations sprint over a remarkable ground, but never risk nearing saturation point: twelve tracks ease through chamber pop, baroque, italo-disco, N.Y. East Village bossa nova, electro and punk, flicking between French, Italian, German and English-language when one dictionary’s parentheses fail to translate her intent.
The first four foot-tappers nod to the free-form pop of Sciubba’s time at the Nublu Club with the Wax Poetic and Nublu Orchestra. ‘You Broke My Art’ reaches further still to the highlights of Stereolab’s art-rock bossa nova, whereas ‘Stars’ sounds like an off-kilter ode to Robyn’s ‘Honey’ (it’s literally about stars falling from the sky and lovers setting them on fire). Even the transition from a more leftfield Can-plays-The-Normal bleep to a Marlene Dietrich-esque, tender musical chanson doesn’t sound forced as it climaxes with fears about over-sharing an identity (‘I Know You Too Well’). And as soon as the theory gets heavy, there are still enough lyrics on the album to be written on a passive aggressive tote bag. It’s serious, often numinous soul-searching, sure, but you can still enjoy it: “All I want, all I need is love, and coffee too.”
Loud And Quiet needs your help
The COVID-19 crisis has cut off our advertising revenue stream, which is how we’ve always funded how we promoted new independent artists.
Now we must ask for your help.
If you enjoy our articles, photography and podcasts, please consider becoming a subscribing member. It works out to just £1 per week, to receive our next 6 issues, our 15-year anniversary zine, access to our digital editions, the L&Q brass pin, exclusive playlists, the L&Q bookmark and loads of other extras.