The starting track “Overture” with a chanting, echoing piano, a growing dark atmosphere and a thin string on the verge of snapping immediately sets the ambience. When I listen to Jenny Garbrielsson Mare’s new album “Comb the Wicked” I’m reminded of the dark setting from her duo collaboration with Fredrik Jonasson, White Birches. But even if the electronic effects are important it is overall an organic sound that forms the base in these songs. Organ, piano, bass and percussion build a sparse, suggestive sound in a low tempo while Jenny’s soft vocals soars above it all like a spiritual being.
She wrote the songs while she was staying in Brooklyn two years ago and let the environment inspire the music in various ways. Brooklyn Bridge, Washington Avenue and the hot indian summer meet religious symbols, dark entities and thoughts about guilt in a sometimes almost meditative, nocturnal journey. The closest I can compare with is Nick Cave, but this is very much Jenny’s own sound in songs where she has broken out of the common structures. Here she also gets help from Michael Blair, an instrumentalist who has worked with artists like Tom Waits and Lou Reed, and here has added percussion and drums in a quite varied and well-sounding way, from the marching drums of “Dig Real Deep” to the gospel claps on “Hard Times”. It’s an album that really should be listened to from the beginning to the end, but I’ll give it a try to pick out two songs to taste here below:
Jenny Gabrielsson Mare’s site – on Facebook – on Spotify – on Apple Music – on Bandcamp