Friday, 26 November 2010
Griff says; When she was bad she was better!
Tonight's artist is another wonderful find from the CLLCT music collective and also a musician with a flair for the visual arts, so she certainly ticks all the 'Griff says' boxes. The artist in question is Megan Biscieglia, from Brooklyn, New York. Megan has always written songs, but unfortunately was always too scared to play them in front of people up until about a year ago. Her early, pre-new-found-confidence, work was released as Sans Ben and a little of this output can still be found on the internet (see here). It's undoubtedly lo-fi, in fact best described as rough and ready, but the keen listener should discern the germ of something great waiting to sprout forth here. And indeed, the flowering of that talent is now upon us with the release of Arrow and Orb, a new 6 song EP, and the first released under the new name of Bad Braids.
The music is difficult to categorise, there's a strong folk element but also a touch of psychedelia, dream-pop and even country music. I suppose it reminds me most of the lo-fi, folk-pop of another Streetlamp favourite, also from the North-east of the US, Lady Lioness. But frankly, who cares how we label it, it's enough just to say that I love it. Since I first came across Arrow and Orb a couple of weeks ago I've listened to it almost every day and still find myself intrigued by its musical twists and turns.
Megan is assisted on the album by Jared Stafford-Hill who provides; organ, piano, mandolin, lap-steel, bass and percussion and Derek David Dobson who supplies vocals on track 3; Oh Righteous One. Megan herself wrote and produced the songs and contributes vocals, guitar, piano, tamborine, whistles and percussion. As if that weren't enough, she has also produced the rather splendid artwork and 'zine which accompany the release. Megan's style; detailed, brightly-coloured ink-drawings combined with collage, reminded me instantly of the work of Henry Darger and I asked if he was much of an influence. Megan told me that she finds Darger's style wonderful but didn't really have him in mind whilst completing the work.
As well as being available on CLLCT the album can also be downloaded at bandcamp where you can also make a donation if you're feeling generous and want to support a talented young artist.
I'm embedding three songs from the album below and I'd like to encourage you to listen to all three to fully appreciate the breadth of Bad Braids musical style. Enjoy!