Reviewed by Julian Wilson

Farchild/Chivalry Has Died

“Do you smile when I look up/Or does your hand promptly move down to the back of my pants?” sings Farchild on “Ey, Papi,” a brutally frank demand for r-e-s-p-e-c-t directed towards male horndogs. Even though she doesn’t slam the floor with big, metallic guitars, with “Ey, Papi” there’s no doubt that Farchild is from Seattle, especially when she warns, “Make sure that hand stays firmly around my waist/Cause if it slips without permission you might find yourself/Losing a tooth.” Quite edgy and tough, but Seattle rock has never been known for its softness, right?

However, Farchild isn’t “rock.” Although “Timmy’s a Rebel” and “Orbital” have their share of prime, speaker-filling Seattle riffola, Farchild’s music most often powered by keyboards. If Tori Amos, instead of just dating Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails at one point, had actually fronted for his group, the result might’ve been like this album. The slow piano track “Natural Solitude” certainly has that Amos-like dimly-lit introspection but the pounding percussion and machine clanging of “Peter Piper” is pure NIN. At only eight cuts, I wish that Chivalry Has Died were longer, but in these days of filler-filled CDs that’s a huge compliment.


Reviewed by Julian Wilson


Unwoman is Erica Mulkey, a singer/songwriter that swims in the chilly darkness of Siouxsie Sioux if she had replaced post-punk guitars and danceable synthesizers for cello and piano. Because of the latter instrument, comparisons to Tori Amos are inevitable, but Mulkey is far less commercial and certainly more edgy, combining the timeless beauty of classical music with the ominous atmospherics of Gothic rock. “If only I could be/The baby doll that you imagine,” Mulkey sings on “Compliance,” and that pretty much symbolizes the persona Mulkey is toying with here, that of innocence on the surface but something black lurking underneath.

Mulkey has a lovely voice. The sweeping “Caught Her” offers us layers of her bittersweet crooning; it is rich with emotion and brimming with a sultry, enigmatic quality. On “Power,” her singing is stripped down to its core, the crisp production showcasing its clarity and incandescent beauty. However, this isn’t music that you listen to during the day unless you’re knee-deep in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic book. This is not sunshine radio, but a journey into the shadows. It’s one that I am certainly willing to make over and over again.