Label: Tartaruga Records Release date: OUT NOW! Website: Quinta Myspace Quinta: unusual name, unusual woman, unusual LP. Intro tracks are rarely as enigmatic or as long as the one that kicks off ‘My Sister, Boudicca’, leading one to a serious anticipation as to what Quinta’s style will be. On second track ‘James and the Ocean’ her voice is eager to introduce itself over contemplative, slow-attack synths and viola riffs, and prove it possesses real character and a vulnerability and timbre not unlike the voice of Kate Bush. There are swathes of this record that rely on calculated dissonance, on sombre organ motifs and pointedly minimalist passages to evoke a sense of otherness, to conjure soundscapes that will challenge your preconceptions of ‘enjoyable’ music. To reach for and place Quinta in the demystifying ‘avant-garde’ tradition would be facile; she is not, as the genuinely beautiful vocal passages suggest, putting listeners at odds with what has gone before, but certainly our vocabulary of engagement seems limited during the instrumental, experimental tracks, unless you’re willing to listen instinctively. Then, in what occurs as glorious contrast, ‘In America’ flirts with the idea of being a conventional song, and is aptly placed to relieve some of the dramatic tension. In this way Quinta exerts a real degree of control over the thematic variances ‘My Sister Boudicca’ exhibits, and the emotional ones the listener will likely exhibit too. Wistful, sparse, and transportive; Quinta is definitely not an artist whom I would expect most listeners to ‘get’ immediately. Divisive as it is, you should certainly be intrigued enough upon first listen, perhaps even a mote confused, quite possible utterly bewitched enough to come back for more. It’s when you do that this record sparkles; the sense of play, of willful originality but effortless grace, rises hesitantly but definitely to the fore. Rating: I hate having to attach a score to this one as it’s so non-traditional, but, all things considered: 7.5/10 MP3: Quinta - At The Top Of Bear Hill