Sweet Heart Fever
The beguiling Scout Niblett of Nottingham, England, is a somebody who is worth getting to know. First off, she's going to be around for some time; she's not the sort of lass who dips a toe in the water only to opt not to take a swim. Her debut album SWEET HEART FEVER is the first fruit of the artistic partnership with the inventive drummer Kristian Goddard, and is a pretty incredible & grand unveiling of her talent for the songcraft. Bringing to mind the harrowing intensity of PJ Harvey's debut DRY, Scout Niblett's first is an album whose exterior calm is betrayed by a fantastic inner storm -- the likes of which the legions of card-carrying members of the Trans-global Network of Damaged Souls love to immerse themselves in, if only to feel a little more potent & vital for a forty-minute stretch. SWEET HEART FEVER is just such an album that will keep those souls self-medicated. Indeed, the dreamlike landscape on which the fourteen songs are presented has a meandering stream of consciousness feel to it, with conventionally structured songs underscored by a few visceral song fragments that have an unresolved yet wholly intuitive feel to them. On "Miss My Lion", for example, Scout Niblett sings,
When we get home / it'll be like a party. / He's learned to move / real slowly. See how we move / sunlit and playful. / We have it all / but I miss my lion. He's already there / waiting to greet me.
For someone who can rock as hard as Scout Niblett (her live show is full of Sonic Youth-like discordant freak-outs), it must be said that it came as a bit of a surprise when she went and recorded the slow, moody and menacing SWEET HEART FEVER at Chem19 Studios in Glasgow, Scotland. Sure as hell, she'll turn heads of anyone who's ever raced across a bedroom floor to flip sides of a Sandy Denny & Fairport Convention, Van Morrison, Laura Nyro or even Liz Phair record.
(SC060 released: 09/17/01)