Lark - Mouth of Me

2006-03-29 23:00

Song: Download "Grey Evening" for free, legally

Like Diamanda Galas, whose more accessible side Lark resemble in a few darker vocal moments, this new South African group have a scary kind of beauty.

Crunchy layers of studio effects and sampled analogue, relentless backbeats, and delicately soaring and wailing vocals come together in a filigree of tortured tunes. On these songs, voice is an instrument like any other, not just a delivery mechanism for the lyrics - though their sparse gothic poetry is perfectly trapped in the web of their complex sounds.

The pentatonic world Lark evoke could be a nursery where the toys strangely come alive and play together while a child sleeps unaware. You'll find yourself wanting to return to it, as you do to a disturbing but fascinating dream.

Voice of Me is a must have for fans of Galas, Beth Orton, Portishead, Pram, or even Bjork. Get it not just for the music, or because you're being patriotic, but also for the creepy CD art, which shows the members shrunk to kid-size, and includes full lyrics.

- Jean Barker

Lark are Capetonians Inga Beckham (ex lead of Spindle Sect) and Paul Ressel (aka respected electronic wizard The Humanizer), and this first album is already getting them noticed as far afield as Germany, where they're invited to play the Wave Gotik Treffen Festival.

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