Anyone who misses the halcyon days of 4AD when they put out classic record after classic record could do worse than check out Song, By Toad’s latest signing, Siobhan Wilson. The Scot, by way of her spiritual home Paris, has crafted a simply irresistible work of art here, as though Cocteau Twins had been asked to score the new series of Twin Peaks.
Sparse, yet charged with emotion, ‘Whatever Helps‘ travels a similar path to Neil Young‘s 2010 album Le Noise, ostensibly just Wilson, her guitar and an effects pedal. The overall effect is one of returning, Lazarus-like, from a cathartic journey in which Wilson has met her demons head on, challenged them to a duel and left them face down in the mud. As she herself explains, the song is about fighting back grief and depression, “always trying to find a way to pick yourself up after you’ve fallen on your knees.”
If indeed, ‘Whatever Helps‘ was written as a ritual of personal soul cleansing, one could quite justifiably reason that it would be highly beneficial for anyone else who frequently finds themselves in dark places to have this song running through their eardrums on a constant loop. It’s a starkly beautiful, utterly compelling record and is enhanced still further by a gorgeous, mostly black and white candlelit video, interspersed with flashes of colour to perhaps indicate that, no matter how bleak things may seem, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and Siobhan Wilson wants to help you find it.
Siobhan Wilson’s second album, There Are No Saints, is released in July.
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