Jarvis Cocker: Likely Stories EP (Rough Trade) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, October 21st, 2019  

Jarvis Cocker

Likely Stories EP

Rough Trade

Jul 19, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


The pairing of Jarvis Cocker's sardonicism with another master storyteller, author Neil Gaiman (Coraline, The Graveyard Book) is pure genius. Cocker has written the music for the British television series, Likely Stories, based on four short stories by the award-winning Gaiman.

Presented in a four-song 7-inch EP of the same name, the work is sparse and chilling. Resonantly enunciating every syllable, Cocker's delivery is intimate yet enigmatic. This turns spine-tingling by the second song, "Foraging," where he whispers out the closing bars, like he is reading out loud from a children's book, with the intention of terrifying his impressionable listeners. This is the perfect fit with Gaiman's knack for turning the familiar into the macabre, but it works equally well on its own.

Cocker has a superstar cast of musicians, from Scott Walker's percussionist, Alasdair Malloy, plus drummer Tom Skinner, whose calculated, brushed beats set the framework for the scenes painted by Cocker's voice, to Portishead's Adrian Utley whose synth and Swarmatron work on the series' main theme fine tunes the feeling of the entire EP. There is a through thread that brings these stories together, making it a whole experience, one that has Cocker in his element mysterious figures and uncomfortable settings.

Interestingly, Cocker had fully written the EP before seeing a single frame of the show-although he had read the stories. This just makes the whole (non) collaboration even more amazing as it is such a darkly well-fitting one. (www.jarviscocker.net)

 

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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