I had just listened to Christina Carter’s four-song EP Electrice for the first time when I overheard a teacher colleague of mine discussing how she was trying to think of modern equivalents to the ancient Greek gods she was teaching her students about. I immediately thought of how yesterday’s mythological Sirens can be found in today’s neo-folk scene. Joanna Newsome, Mia Doi Todd and Christina Carter are all enigmatic, beautiful women making enigmatic, beautiful music.
Not often can a one-word review perfectly encapsulate an album, but such is the case with Electrice: haunting. Carter lets her guitar and vocals stretch out languorously until they reached the cobwebbed corners of her spectral sound. None of the four songs here are shorter than eight minutes, and atmosphere is more important than lyrical content. Even at over more than one-sixth of an hour, opener “Second Death” only has five lines. Closer “My Words Are Not My Words” is even longer, but the only vocals are Carter repeating the title a few times.
In between those are two more tunes of much the same pretty, sonic sound-paintings. “Moving Intercepted” spins queries about human bodies in rest and motion. And “Yellow Pine” is the most glowing, Eno-esque of the quartet, Carter’s guitar creating more of a general background buzz than articulating actual notes.
Carter is one-half of the band Charalambides (the other half being her ex-husband Tom). This solo material doesn’t stray far from Charalambides’s signature sound, done greatly on this year’s A Vintage Burden. If I were a ship’s captain, Carter’s gorgeous minimalist masterpieces wouldn’t bode well for my boat.
“Second Death” MP3
“Yellow Pine” MP3“Words are not My Words” MP3