Cold Specks: Neuroplasticity (Mute) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Cold Specks



Sep 03, 2014 Cold Specks Bookmark and Share

What singer/songwriter Al Spx refers to as her “doom soul” is a sound that, had early gospel and blues styles come together in a contemporary setting, colliding freely and comfortably (with little spiritual chafing), might resemble the songs of Neuroplasticity. With settings that move from rock to desolate jazz, Spx treads similar territory to PJ Harvey, facing down the “doom” like a torch singer who sounds, sometimes chillingly, like she knows a bit too much to bear.

The Montréal-based Spx, on one of the year’s notable albums, sings more like she’s accustomed to darkness than that she’s necessarily resigned to her fate. “And we move like wolves in the bleak night/And we dance like ghosts deprived of flight/The body will come to understand a season of doubt,” she sings on “A Season of Doubt.” But just as she sounds like one more wraith in a night filled with them, emotion returns to the surface, however grimly: “I’ve got an unrelenting desire to fall apart.” (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10


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