REVIEW album Michaela Polakova & Natalie Kocab Ellis Island

Gloriously Dark Modern Fairytales

Maybe it's the unassuming album cover or the unfamiliar names but exactly HOW good this is comes as a bit of a shock. The combined forces of a classically-trained composer and a playwright, they felt they needed that extra 'something' to bring their vision to fully-formed life.

Enter the perhaps unlikely figure of The Verve's Nick McCabe, a guitarist who has never quite got his dues for some slyly inventive work. He fell in love with the project and went from being a guest star to contributor on 8 of the album's tracks. Factor in Lou Reed bassist, Fernando Saunders, and you have the end result -a stunningly crafted suite of modern gothic nightmares, echoing work by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Patti Smith and Kate Bush - beautify as seen through cracked shards of a mirror.

Oh, and much as it's love at first listen, it grows on you even more. Invest at once.

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