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This Fool Can Die Now

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Album Review

After four albums that garnered regular (and not unwarranted) comparisons to both Cat Power and PJ Harvey, British born, Oregon based singer/songwriter Scout Niblett has turned her sights to something a bit more exploratory. Throughout This Fool Can Die Now, there's a subtle but unmistakable experimental feel very much akin to Scott Walker's more recent albums, such as Tilt and The Drift. Of course, it's not as if these 14 songs sound like Walker — no one sounds like Scott Walker but Scott Walker — but there's a similar fascination with minimalism, repetition, and dramatic dynamic shifts, and throughout this album, Niblett experiments with her vocal phrasing and range in a very Walker-like fashion, veering unexpectedly from a flirtatious coo to raw, throaty shrieking to a Karen Dalton-like folk-blues wail. The resulting songs aren't completely foreign to Niblett's longtime fans — the opening "Do You Want to Be Buried with My People?," a duet with Will Oldham, is familiar countrified alt folk — but there is a bracing fearlessness to This Fool Can Die Now that finally fully differentiates Scout Niblett from the rest of the "weird folk" boomlet.

Customer Reviews

Well kept secret

Discovered scout because she is one of Daniel Johnstons friends. Awesome solo by her during the consert and that was it...

Great voice, great album and a great lady!

”Dinosaur egg, oh dinosaur egg. When will you hatch? Cause I got a million people coming on Friday, and they expect to see a dinosaur, not an egg,” sings one of England’s most exciting singer/songwriters. Scout Niblett is her name and with her latest recording, “This fool can die now”, she is heading for an international break-through. Niblett presents us with an album that is hard to categorize given it interchanging musical styles; varying from rock to folk to indie to country and then back again. The only thing constant in this album is Niblett’s strong, relentless and distinct voice. Turning every song into something special, giving you that feeling of making acquaintance with a new musical friend for years to come. Being a singer/songwriter of British heredity the comparison with PJ Harvey has been lurking in the background ever since she put out her first album in 1997. And the comparison isn’t that off. There are several similarities between the two. Strong, high pitched and distinctive voices being one common trait. The earlier mentioned interchanging musical styles and musical partners being another. However, the one thing that alerted me when it comes to similarities between PJ and Scout Niblett are the lyrics. Sometimes dark, deep down in the blackest soul, but then again childishly playful stories of the oddest character. It is this trait in particular that makes ”This fool can die now” into an album that not only works as a background entertainment, but also allows deeper listeners to fulfill their need for a challenging experience. Niblett’s musical inspiration comes mainly from grunge, and especially Kurt Cobain’s guitar sound. Sonic Youth and Mudhoney are other musical references she lists as her main influences. This may be, but on this particular album the main influence has to be Bonnie ”Prince” Billy, who’s joining her in a total of four duets on this record. The collaboration leaves us with a beautiful result. The combination of Niblett’s songwriting skills, her mature sound, and the dark, smooth voice of Bonnie ”Prince” Billy is a slam dunk. If you want a quick recipe on how to get to know Scout Niblett, you listen to the following tracks: Dinosaur Egg, Kiss, Nevada and Yummy. And, PJ Harvey, watch your back!

Biography

Born: 29 September 1973 in Nottingham, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Scout Niblett is Nottingham, England's answer to all the brash, intelligent, and honest female songwriters who emerged from America during the early 21st century. Continually compared to Cat Power and fellow countrywoman PJ Harvey, Niblett (real name: Emma Louise) proved her own merit with a strong, stark voice and a penchant for spartan songs containing only drums and vocals. She also became known for her eccentricity, which included a fondness for wigs. Her lyrics, however, displayed a more serious...
Full bio
This Fool Can Die Now, Scout Niblett
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