'Haunted' is an immediate description that comes to mind when listening to Dot Allison's latest album Heart-Shaped Scars. It positively invites the description, the second track here is entitled The Haunted, after all. This is pastoral Folk, of the kind we've heard many times before over the years.But that fact doesn't tire me of it and I'm quite happy to add this to the pile.
Immediate reminders are inevitably drawn. Of the kind of music heard on the Whicker Man soundtrack. Of PJ Harvey, Vashti Bunyan, Nancy and Lee, Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, Nick Cave and many others. Heart-Shaped Scars is not shamed by any of these comparisons. It slots nicely into this particular sub-category of the ethereal and other-worldly. An album to rech for when you're in need of a fix of this particular sort.
Allison has an incredible CV. During her career she's woked with Scott Walker, Hal David, Kevin Shields, Paul Weller, Massive Attack, Pete Doherty and numerous others. You can see why here. She's an artist.
The album skates over to the sunnier side of this particular pond for the most part. The record becomes a little samey after a while, falling short of true classic status. Nevertheless, it makes a highly compelling late night or early morning listen.