Wednesday 8 December 2021

'The Skin She's In (Leucosia​)​' / 'Hold My Breath' by Annabel (lee)

'The Skin She's In (Leucosia​)​' / 'Hold My Breath' is the new 7" lathe cut vinyl release from Annabel (lee) exclusive to the Heaven's Lathe label.

With limited edition singles released every month, Heaven's Lathe have this year unveiled a veritable smorgasbord of innovative new music releases very much reflective of Graham Duff's - the label's founder - revered inspirations.  As a DJ, broadcaster and writer, Duff has continually waved the flag for a far-ranging and epic scope of sonic preferences: from the punk-esque sounds of The Academy of Sun to the cinematic scope of The Lounge Bar Orchestra, to the downtempo electronica of Insides... Heaven's Lathe now bring to life Duff's long-standing musical vision.  

The inclusion of Annabel (lee) amongst the line-up must surely serve as a dream addition.  However, whilst certainly a unit in their own right whose artistic ethos comfortably aligns with Heaven's Lathe, the musical duo are still more likely to defy any expectation or characterisation put upon them.  

Comprised of vocalist/writer Sheila B Ellis and producer/musician Richard E, this fascinating union of two artists presenting a very clear, distinct and, frankly, fearless vision of their music is in no small part what was contributed to their success to date.  Released through the mighty Ninja Tune (no less!), Annabel (lee)'s debut album 'By The Sea... and Other Solitary Places' (2015) captivated listeners through their genre-defying masterpiece.  A seamless and exquisite fusion of folk and jazz with twinges of electronica set across, at times, orchestral-like soundscapes - it's a project with no equal and a real treasure amongst the riches of Ninja Tune's catalogue.

With subsequent releases, including the sophomore album 'The Cleansing' (2017), released through Youngbloods, listeners are plunged further into Annabel (lee)'s sonic fantasy and - if you've dared to share the space with them - that sonic fantasy is a pretty incredible place to find yourself.  

And current Heaven's Lathe single releases, 'The Skin She's In (Leucosia​)​' / 'Hold My Breath', are no less than the treasures that came before them.  There are subtle thematic call-backs to the Ninja Tune debut with 'The Skin She's In' serving as an ode to the Greek mythological Siren, Leucosia.  Sheila B's celestial delivery beautifully captivates and does justice to the deceptively enchanting tones of the mythological femme fatales, while Richard E's transcendent production on 'Hold My Breath' reaffirms everything listeners have come to cherish about Annabel (lee)'s music to date.

While icing on the cake for an incredible career thus far, the dual singles on offer here also serve as thrilling introductions to Annabel (lee)'s music as well as to Heaven's Lathe and their ambitious ongoing project.  While the comparatively young label can already boast some fantastic releases amidst their catalogue, I dare say Annabel (lee)'s contribution will serve as the standard for some time going forward.

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