Miss Mazzy Star? Here’s a suitable replacement.

Stephen Burch and Laurence Collyer are sparse performers, yet rich instrumentalists, who play with such an intimacy that, at times, it tends to make the music a bit claustrophobic on Blanket's full-length debut, 'Blankit'. The Brighton duo are aided by the pixie-like vocals of London's Vicky Steer whose drowsy vocals recall late night conversations between two lovers accompanied only by the light of a flickering candle.

Though dour in part due to the acoustic-nature of the songs, Blanket delivers some rather beautiful tunes seemingly handcrafted out of old romantic novels collecting dust on library shelves. There is a timeless quality to the music, a delicate nature that is as easy to sleep to as it is to fall in love to. All too often, the downfall of musicians who strive for a lo-fi, intimate affair is that they stick to playing acoustic guitar at the same speed throughout the recorded affair. Blanket's inclusion of a variety of instruments, all played with minimal amplification, makes the trio stand out amongst its peers.

The guitar-playing (or what we assume is a guitar) on 'Off' brings on the feeling of standing in front of a Mob boss in the back room of an Italian restaurant as he tells you his life story in an attempt to make you see why he does what he does for a living. It's bittersweet and pleasing to the point where the vocals may add a nice accompaniment, but the actual lyrics are easy to dismiss - even though Steer pours her heart and soul into them.

The drugged-out, slide-guitar peppered, dusty country tune 'Clothes Horses' should remind listeners of the Velvet Underground-inspired melancholia of Mazzy Star right down to the vocals which bare a resemblance to Hope Sandoval's. While there may by no 'Fade into You' on 'Blankit', if Blanket wants to head in that direction in the future, they've made a few right steps the first time out, particularly on 'Threats' and 'Vroom Vroom Bang Bang'.

Regardless of whether or not they want to be the next Mazzy Star, Blanket has handcrafted a very warm and fragile debut that won't sell a million copies, but will be well received by those who are willing to invest the time.

- Chip Midnight





1. Heaven Heaven Earth
2. Collapse
3. Vroom Vroom Bang Bang Bang
4. Off
5. Wood For Fire
6. Clothes Horse
7. Biblical Hair
8. Threats
9. Mondo Ikea
10. Goodbye To Fast Food

CD album