Sightings: Horsebladder, “Winter, Worse Winter” There’s something immediately foreboding about the music of Northampton, MA’s Elaine Kahn — aka Horsebladder. Of course, a project consisting of one woman, a keyboard, and “sometimes a drum,” all but screams of foreboding minimalism — but on “Winter, Worse Winter” it’s more than just that. Kahn, like similar artist Julia Holter, has a knack for sounding simultaneously gorgeous and terrifying. Sparse vocals and stuttering keys meld around the wispy echos of Kahn’s voice and the occasional brute-force drum beats in blunt-yet-mysterious ways. Hearing Kahn sing amidst the mostly silent racket feels almost like hearing the distant shout of someone urging you to seek shelter before an impeding blizzard — warm and inviting, yet stern and serious. The song reminds me of the nerd-famous saying of my favorite characters from George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire
novels. Winter is Coming, so hole up and prepare yourselves, because it won’t be pretty. Although, with Horsebladder maybe winter doesn’t have to be so bad after all.
Words: Marc Picciolo