Trace Fury – Ankle Deep

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Album Review by Mark Bayross

Philadelphia’s Trace Fury are a band who can truly claim to be doing their own thing. Their sound combines the dual vocals and keyboards of Chrissy Loftus and Nina Prendergast with the unusual backing of Mark Gallagher’s swirling saxophone, David Kasper’s taut bass and Matt Buckley’s assured drums.

The result is a head-spinning array of styles that embraces jazz, classical, pop, rock and even trip-hop, filtering everything through an otherworldly conduit of dramatic piano and plaintive sax. Take SMALL WORLD, which starts like with a creepy, trip-hop vibe, then shifts through a range of time signatures to end in a stomp of staccato piano. The overall effect comes across like a mixture of Portishead, Morphine, Dead Can Dance and, at times, mid-period Talk Talk.

The two frontwomen possess astonishing voices, recalling everyone from Kate Bush (IVORY SHORES) and Sarah McLachlan (FIRE UNDER ICE) to Björk (BODY DOUBLE), although probably Trace Fury’s most frequent comparison will be with the queen of piano-driven confessional rock, Tori Amos.

The only snag is that, at 72 minutes long, ANKLE DEEP can be a bit heavy going, but the unpredictability of the songs helps hold the interest. Seeing as this is the band’s debut album, it’s a heck of an accomplishment.

5 stars