Eerie, late night, wyrdfolk emanations from Natasha Khan’s former partner in Bats for Lashes (where she was known as Ginger Lee). Accompanied mostly by her randomly plucked Spanish guitar, Weeks debut solo effort sets nine Edna St. Vincent Millay poems to a sparse backing. Unlike traditional lyrics/music collaborations (like Bernie Taupin/Elton John) where the music and lyrics might be adjusted for the greater good of the song, Weeks is dealing with a static text and putting the music and melody to extant poems is a much more daunting text, so her success depends on the melodies she wraps around the poems.
While there are certainly no toe-tapping ditties here, the minimalist arrangements and sing-speak delivery on such party starters as “Oh, Sleep Forever In The Latmian Cave” and the heartbreakingly forlorn highlight, “Elegy,” should find favor with fans of Sharron Krauss, Rusalnaia, Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon,” and Jeff Kelly and Laura Weller’s Green Pajamas’ side project, Goblin Market, which also found success setting the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe, Christina Rossetti, Emily Bronte, and Elizabeth Siddal to music. I must admit I occasionally found myself more entranced by Weeks’ crackling vocals and intimate accompaniment at the expense of missing the depth and beauty of Edna’s poetry. Other listeners not familiar with the source texts may, too, find themselves drowning in Week’s demo quality bedroom whispers. This is an album you’ll want to listen to several times in order to appreciate both Week’s musical trappings and Edna’s words. Highlights include the haunting “The Return” and the closing death knell, “Elegy.”
As delicately intricate as Nico’s harmonium-backed, Teutonic siren songs on “Marble Index” and “Desertshore,” Weeks bares her own soul and heart to dig under the surface to reveal the hidden beauty and inner demons of Millay’s work. 7/10 -- Jeff Penczak (20 May, 2009)