Reviews

Trixie WhitleyTrixie Whitley
Album: Porta Bohemica
Label: Strong Blood
Tracks: 9
Website: http://www.trixiewhitley.com

Porta Bohemica is the name of an old train line that once connected Germany and Austria. Singer-songwriter Trixie Whitley was apparently inspired by the concept of such remote journeys when choosing a title for her latest album, and this sophomore release represents an introspective expedition into the depths of her creative identity, culminating in her resolve to fearlessly let go of gratuitous baggage not needed on future travels.

"The metaphor of an old train line feeds something in my imagination. I related to the sense of travel when making this record because it was an epic undertaking. It involved letting go of my past to embrace my individuality both as a young woman and as an artist. This record has been something of a re-birth for me", says the Brooklyn-Based artist who was born in Belgium, then moved to NYC, only to subsequently live a nomadic transatlantic existence between both locations.

"Porta Bohemica" hints consistently at those nomadic roots throughout, it's an album that flows poetically from the stark acoustic chord sequences of "Faint Mystery", builds slowly through choppy electronic pop in the form of "Soft Spoken Words", and winds down with the beautifully simple piano noodling of "The Visitor".

Whitley has one of those voices that can span a hundred generations. One moment it's all sugar-coated trust-me i'm a popstar in the form of chart-bound "Salt", and the next she's busting ass with the big old blues-tinged "Eliza's Smile". No surprise then that her father was the late Chris Whitley, a renowned blues musician and innovative writer. She knows her chops, and how to wrench every last drop of emotion from a song that reaches inside, twists and turns, and leaves the listener drained.

"I wanted to make people think and feel something honest and emotionally complex in my music" she explains, "I came to a lot of realisations making this record. When you let go of your fears, you can start facing your potential and there is an endless palate of possibilities to explore. This is just the beginning, and I fell a lot of excitement and optimism about what's to come".

Her emergence as a compelling solo artist, with three award nominations under her proverbial belt and a win for Best Female Artist at the 2013 Belgium Music Industry Awards, is further enhanced by "Porta Bohemica". Trixie's myriad of influences from R & B, Electronica, Hip Hop and Folk are here embraced with warm affection and moulded into a style very much her own. Explore, discover, enjoy.

Ken Brown
www.squarerootspromotions.co.uk