24 March 2006

envelopes - "sister in love" (from the demon lp, released april 4, available for preorder here.)
candi staton - "his hands" (from the his hands lp, released march 27, import available for preorder here.)

"sister in love" by envelopes, a swedish-french outfit whose debut has been available in europe since august, is something like junior senior if they were brother and sister. instead of paying homage to late 70's disco, though, envelopes are steeped in american indie of the early 90's. as w/ junior senior, they don't seem to be adding to the canon or beholden to those influences; rather, they approach the music w/ the same humor and mania as the danish duo.

sister in no longer in love on candi staton's "his hands," not w/ any man at least--she's had enough of that kind of love. just like solomon burke, howard tate, and bettye lavette, candi staton gets a hand from an admirer--will oldham, in her case--and makes an astonishing record. the understated piano is vintage oldham, a threat at the end of each bar. the looming threat breaks through, both musically and lyrically; loving hands are wrapped around one's throat and the song breaks out into a stunning horn-led climax. it is short-lived and ends abruptly, and anger just as quickly evolves into pity and forgiveness. candi no longer places her faith in human hands. she is instead leaning on the everlasting arms.

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