Following a week of sold out shows in Berlin and on the continent , though only 18 years old, ingenue SOAP&SKIN is already drawing comparisons with Nico, Joanna Newsom and Bjork, unlikely as that seems for a pig farmer’s daughter from the remote Austrian village of Gnas.
Her debut album is startling in it’s precociousness; bleak yet beautiful, emotive and turbulent, with her ethereal vocals in counterpoint to the dramatic music.
Her dark sounds are hard to describe, using electronics, beats and piano. Nobody less than T.Raumschmiere and his Shitkatapult label initially discovered the singer-songwriter but her haunting songwriting also betrays a classical sensibility, making her (according to the Guardian) the amorphous “lovechild of a Sapphic union between Sinead and Björk, Enya on depressants or a Dead Can Dance for the digital age”
ULTRE has an intensely tactile and crafted approach to sound. With a penchant for esoteric sound sources (such as percussion made from hitting objects around his home, clapping, finger clicking, or beating his chest), the music is more structured and immediate than evident on early releases by 24 year old Finn McNicholas.
The music develops organically with an intrinsic sense of sheer wonderment and amazement driving many of the tracks.. The energy of the performance combined with his string, piano and electronic work conjures up a picture of busy modernism with contrasting nostalgic undertones. There is an absence of digital signal processing and effects within the music, with most of the sounds created live in the recording.
Thursday 2 April
Bush Hall, 310 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 7LJ 0208 222 6955
Tickets £7.50 from
0870 264 3333
08700 600 100