Esben & The Witch
‘Wash The Sins Not Only The Face’ (Matador)
In times of austerity, look no further than this Brighton trio. Cheery titles include ‘Despair’, ‘Deathwaltz’ and ‘When That Head Splits’. However, it’s not as bleak as their 2010 debut ‘Violet Cries’, and though ‘Wash The Sins…’ rekindles that record’s midwinter chill, it also goes some way to thawing it a little, stoked by the occasional tumult of Thomas Fisher’s guitars. Rachel Davies’ vocals again have the sparkle of a falling snowflake; ‘Shimmering’ deploys several of her at once, a trick that resembles an eerie, icy Warpaint off-cut. An album of chilly, detached beauty.