Out of Season
This is an interesting collaboration between two talented musicians who weren’t the principal driving forces behind their respective bands – Geoff Barrow was always the leader of Portishead, while Paul Webb was the bass player for the Mark Hollis led Talk Talk. Interesting, other supporting members from both bands play on this record – Portishead guitarist Adrian Utley and Talk Talk drummer Lee Harris. Gibbons and Webb met when Gibbons auditioned as a vocalist for Webb’s post-Talk Talk band O’Rang, but was unable to follow through when Portishead became successful.
The collaboration isn’t the post rock album you’d maybe expect from the pairing – it’s largely an acoustic jazz album, with some acoustic folk thrown in. Gibbons’ lyrics are bleaker than is even normal for her; “Autumn leaves/Pretty as can be/Everyone can see/Everyone except me,” and Out Of Season has a quiet, desperate beauty. The most immediate piece is ‘Tom The Model’, with its punchy chorus underscored by brass, while ‘Romance’ brings to mind a jazz chanteuse like Ella Fitzgerald. But Out Of Season really shines on the acoustic, folk-flavoured pieces like ‘Sand River’ and ‘Drake’, where the pretty music is chilled by the despair in Gibbons’ lyrics and vocals.
Out Of Season doesn’t quite match up against the best albums from Talk Talk and Portishead, but it’s a unique and interesting album, showcasing two talented supporting players getting the chance to front their own project.