30 Aug 2014
Album Review: Emma Tricca "Relic"
Reviewed by Nathan Ford
"Relic" is the new album from Emma Tricca, billed as giallo-folk by the fine people at Finders Keepers who've released this on their Bird Records imprint. While that giallo tag may appear a little misleading after an initial, surface-level listen to "Relic", it's not just been slapped on by a record company who are, admittedly rather fond of the term (and with their recent spate of excellent Bruno Nicolai reissues who can blame them?). While "Relic" may be missing most of the normal sonic cues you'd expect from giallo, Italian born Tricca's childhood, surrounded by "Giallo comic books, whistling Morricone film scores, vibrant religious imagery and expensive furniture design" has informed her tastes at a fundamental level which has helped her skewed take on femme-folk crystalise into something quite unique. There are superficial similarities to Nico, although that comparison is conjured by mood, rather than Tricca's voice which, on the evidence of "Relic", should have courted more favour in the mid noughties freak-folk boom.
Her song's are delicate, spooked treasures - sparse, but intricately arranged. Her nimble, fingerpicked guitar is a constant throughout, but it's the little touches, like the gorgeous cascading vibes of "November at my Door", or the swelling guitars of "All The Pretty Flowers" which betray her natural inclination to be slightly left of centre. Fans of Nico, Beth Gibbons, Joana Newsom and Linda Perhacs are all likely to be enchanted by "Relic", although in truth it sounds little like any of those artists, or anyone else for that matter. A true original.
"Relic is available on vinyl, CD, and digital.