Sons and Daughters' Scottish Offensive
While Lily Allen, Kate Nash, The Pipettes, and others forcefully insert British accents into their music, Sons and Daughters' Adele Bethel is making like a one-woman Scottish offensive. More than her tone, more than her range, more than whatever feeling she can put behind her vocals, it's that burr — forcing her words to curl around on themselves like jagged hooks — that distinguishes her as a singer.
"The Nest" finds her putting it to use against a more detailed backdrop than she's ever had. It starts out like the ghost of Motown, with Ailidh Lennon's bass and David Gow's drums setting up a booming but skeletal backbeat as Scott Paterson's guitar flits in and out.
Into that cavernous setup steps Bethel, as she sneers her way through a tale of adolescent disappointment with such a barbed tongue that it takes on the dread of gothic horror. "You're ending," she keens in a voice that's all the more menacing for the way she scrapes the top of her register. By the time Paterson fills the room with a distant moan, the song is already haunted.
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