Dark Undercoat

Release date
14 Apr 2008
Running length
10 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Bessie Smith 3:28 25,281
2 Hole In the Middle 3:26 36,637
3 Dark Undercoat 4:59 25,657
4 Dagger 5:12 21,500
5 Time On Your Side 2:22 31,379
6 The Demon 5:49 18,647
7 Sleeping Dead 4:31 19,217
8 Blue 4:30 17,797
9 Wild Tigers I Have Known 4:20 31,617
10 Two Shots to the Head 4:21 19,278

About this album

✪ Emily Jane White — Dark Undercoat ✪

Listening to Dark Undercoat, it’s difficult to believe that Emily Jane White once fronted various college and bands. The frenetic energy that fuels both those genres is totally at odds with the incredibly languorous feel of this set, as White whiles away her time moodily musing, mostly accompanied only by her acoustic guitar or piano. Dark Undercoat, her debut, is awash in dark undercurrents, and tinged with a deeply affecting melancholy, somewhat reminiscent of Nick Drake, which Wainwright Hewlett’s superb engineering and production enhances. The sound is underlit with a glowing warmth, the quiet atmospheres subtly acquiring surprising depths, while a sublime intimacy is spun around the entire set. White’s dusky, lilting alto conjures up its own spell, as do the simple but artful arrangements. Guitar strumming songs like Dagger and Time on Your Side illustrate the artist’s deep connections to the folk scene, but others have a western bend, foremost among them Sleeping Dead. In contrast, the magnificent Bessie Smith and Hole in the Middle sing the blues. Bessie Smith and the title track make inspired use of cello, fabulous work from multi-instrumentalist Muir. Bass and drums intensify a number of songs, while White’s concert piano skills are highlighted on a pair of tracks, with her supple guitar showcased across the entire set.

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