review by sound fix records (brooklyn)

From time to time a local artist sans record label will come in with a self-released album that blows us away. This is one of those times! Ella Joyce Buckley is a native of South Africa now based in Brooklyn, and the music on her lovely hand-made CD, Blood Finds No Sea, is an enthralling example of how much more a songwriter can be than just a person with songs and an instrument. Existing equally in the acoustic (as in, played instruments — a range of them) and electronic, Blood Finds No Sea is dramatic, intense and, in the most luminous way, Goth as hell. You can imagine her right at home on 4AD in the mid-’80s, when Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance were mixing shimmeringly bright colors into darkness (and elsewhere, Danielle Dax was at her best). With vast creativity, Buckley manipulates her  gorgeous vocals into choirs, housefuls of spirits even, while strings both plucked and bowed ebb and swell, and keys poke holes in the darkness. The title track spires upward, like Tolkien’s elvish national anthem (oh, just indulge me), with Buckley’s double-tracked vox fixed in place while the music ascends around her. “Sister” features Buckley’s most extravagant vocal, with a plucked violin (I think?) leading into a howling mix of percussion and electronics. Buckley’s arranging skills are advanced — you could easily picture her scoring theater works (besides films), and perhaps she already does. For now, there is this CD, and it comes highly recommended.

Review from Sound Fix Records – 44 Berry St., Brooklyn New York 11211 – (718) 388-8090 | Williamsburg’s Independent Record store

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