Edith Frost, Telescopic (Drag City)

Posted December 31st, 1998 by admin

Edith Frost
Drag City
By: Eric G.

This is Edith Frost's second full-length album, in which she refines her fuzz-laden, roots indie rock stylings with a clearer vision and better songwriting. The album is laced with country sounding instruments, though, Frost rarely allows herself to become a cliché. Her voice is a tamer version of Kristen Hersh's with much less vibrato, but her lyrics revel in the same melancholy that Hersh's do. The songs are awash in reverb and simple chord progressions. Her voice is multi-tracked creating an icy atmosphere that lives up to her name.

Frost often surrounds her unrelenting self-examination with clouds of feedback and distortion. Her clean voice cuts right through the fuzz making songs like "You Belong To No One" and "Bluish Bells" especially effective and memorable. The background sound effects give the retro folk music a futuristic feel. Her cold sounding voice counteracts the personal slant of the lyrics giving Telescopic the perfect balance of intimacy and restraint. Frost often sounds like she's holding back, but that seems to raise the tension in her subtle music just enough. It's as though if she were to cut completely loose it would be a let down compared to the brief glimpse of what could have been.

Tags: review