England Made Her

Sarah Nixey 5/11Once again I have to apologise for my tardiness, but I’ve just discovered that Sarah Nixey released her second solo album, Brave Tin Soldiers, in May. I can’t really remember how or when I first became familiar with her former band, Black Box Recorder, but they’ve been firmly ensconced in my personal “Top 10” ever since… and it’s always fun to listen to the trio’s individual work, and try to pick out the common interests and obsessions running through them. Essentially, they all seem to share a rather morbid outlook, and a wry, irreverent attitude towards class-conflict, musty patriotism and naff seaside holidays, that I happen to find very endearing. While Nixey tends to skew away from the broader satire of her BBR cohorts, she retains sole ownership of the lush, cut-glass croon that lent such an air of authority and sophistication to their sinister skits.

But enough of my blathering… here are some complimentary quotes regarding her work from people who actually know what they’re talking about:

“In his excellent Britpop memoir Bad Vibes, Luke Haines remembers recruiting Nixey for BBR largely on the basis that she had the ability to make all men fall in love with her. It’s a power which, on this evidence, remains undiminished.” – The Independent

“Nixey’s sultry, sexy delivery surmounts the perceived gloom of the subject matter.” – Scottish Sunday Express

“Singing pretty songs in a warm, welcoming, sensuous voice… but dig beneath the pop gloss and things turn strange again… her own songs are delivered in such an accessible, radio-friendly style that they could easily find a wider audience.” – The Sunday Times

“Despite its unsettling themes, Nixey’s sophomore album is still a warm and charming record which reinstates her position as Britain’s most elegant chanteuse.”  – AllMusic

“Though now doing all the writing, arranging and production herself, she stakes a plausible claim to ownership of many of BBR’s distinguishing qualities: insidious melodies, strings so bleak as to appear sarcastic, and her own unmistakable voice, which still sounds like opening the fridge door feels.” – Uncut

Sarah Nixey 5/11“Sarah has taken full creative control on ‘Brave Tin Soldiers’ and the hard work has certainly paid off… Nixey treats her subject matter with intelligence, warmth and empathy. Lush arrangements and gorgeous melodies make Brave Tin Soldiers a compelling and rewarding listen for pop fans who crave something more cerebral than jaunty but rather empty sing-a-longs. All in all this is an eloquent, seductive and at times moving journey that reveals Nixey to be hugely talented songwriter.” – The VPME

“As a solo artist, she remains a national treasure, undiscovered by most, but to me she is almost the best there is in the U.K. Full stop. Having two young children limits her musical work so when she does release music, it is like little gifts to the world to be treasured always.” – Penny Black Music

“Brave Tin Soldiers debuts a softer, more organic sound than we’ve heard before, but her roots are still a steering force… Her voice, while pouty and oozing sex, lures the listener in with the promise of fascinating, wide-eyed stories. It’s a contrast that works brilliantly, and the warmth and charm of the gentle strings she works around make it a perfect summer evening record.” – Music OMH

(All taken from her official site’s press page)

In even tardier news, the geeky completist in me was shocked to realise that BBR had actually released two songs I didn’t own… specifically the B-sides to the 2003 single “These Are The Things”, from Passionoia… but after gently coaxing a friend to grant me access to their Amazon account, the oversight has now been corrected. Hurrah! I know I’m eight years too late to actually get it into the charts, but never mind…

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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