Wednesday 12 June 2013

Emma's Scouts Don't Want No Scrubs

I wanted to save this until Friday and a Friday Cover Up, but Scout Niblett's album is too great to wait that long. It's Up To Emma came out a fortnight or so ago through Drag City, and it's bloody great. Dark, downbeat, even a little desperate - but this is why I love Scout, she's uncompromising. Even when she is endowing TLC's sisters-doing-it-themselves "classic" 'No Scrubs' with shadowy menace. It's a great rendition - the whole reason we started a covers post section in the first place - but there is so much strength elsewhere here - the dirge blues wrack of 'Gun', the lurking bruises within 'Can't Fool Me Now', the haunted 'My Man,' the coalescing closer 'What Can I Do'. Scout has always stripped bare her lyrics, offering both an insular and defiantly combative character, and the instrumentation is just as skeletal, even when joined by strings. And the presence, that voice - its earth-shattering in its understated power. Never mistake her as a PJ Harvey acolyte - It's Up To Emma is blazing proof that Scout Niblett is a burning power all her own.

You can buy It's Up To Emma here.

Scout Niblett - Gun
Scout Niblett - What Can I Do

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