Emily Jane White – Victorian America

Emily Jane White
Victorian America

With Victorian America Emily Jane White has produced the most conventionally beautiful album of 2010… and also likely the darkest. Little has changed since her 2007 debut, Dark Undercoat: her voice whispers, strings tremble, and listeners are left in a haze of delicately piercing melancholy. Her sound is indebted to the tortured heroines of music history. The twang of opening track, “Never Dead,” reminds of Hope Sandoval. The quirkily and cleverly daunting “Sparks” is reminiscent of Melora Creager, yet with a sincerity generally lacking in the dark comedy of Rasputina. “Red Dress” even evokes the depraved spirit of Nico. White’s songs linger, with the average track clocking in around five minutes. She is in no hurry to escape her horrors; she recognizes the hopelessness and she braves an Opheliatic femininity in a way that only an artist who values beauty over the tragedy of circumstance would be capable. Izzy Cihak