Titania by Titania (Review)

Titania 2005

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Canadian label Resplendent, specifically about releases by Angelmark and Titania. Michael Turner, who is the head songwriter in both bands, was kind enough to send me some CDs, which I’ve been enjoying quite a bit lately, especially now that the weather is finally taking a turn for the colder and greyer.

Titania adds the sensual vocals of Mandy Cousins to Turner’s soundscapes, and the result is a somewhat darker, more “goth-oriented” (for lack of a better term) sound. While the 4AD influence is still fairly prevalent, I also hear a decent amount of The Cranes in their sound. Cousins’ voice might not be as girlish as Alison Shaw’s, but there’s still a gauzy quality to it as it swoops and dives alongside Turner’s silvery guitar lines.

On “Tinsel Starred” and “Radium Pearl,” Cousins’ sounds as if she’s a little girl lost, wandering through the dark, mysterious corners conjured up by Turner’s guitars, and somewhat dazzled and starry-eyed by it. “Pale Sister” adds a darkly rhythmic undercurrent that propels the song in an almost tribal-esque way (think Dead Can Dance if they had chosen to recreate the music of ancient cultures with modern technology, rather than traditional instrumentation). And Cousins sounds as if she’s completely willing to be consumed by the pools of shimmering sounds surrounding her on “Knowing And Not Caring,” her voice growing more disembodied and angelic as the song progresses.

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