Hungarian Duo remains on my Hot List since they signed to Traumton and the first time I’ve got in touch with their music. Those who follow do know that two previous recordings had been also reviewed here. This one is different however, as they now expanded to the regular Quartet. Newcomers are bassist Nicolas Thys and drummer Antoine Pierre. Saying that it was just about time as like I said before, as a duet they reached the threshold and I could not see them going any further. Adding a rhythm section made an extra space and enriched the arrangements, giving in the same time a different context for Veronica, which She made a good use of immediately. Paradoxically I am finding this new expanded squad sounding much more intimate to me. The reason for it is that She has got much more headroom for her vocal.
Therefore, this recording is showing her vocalise in completely new perspective. Straight from an opening Listen to Me Now, you can tell that it all gained a different pace. She might now articulate the lyrics with longer decays, that alone makes a difference to the surrounding silence. As the rhythm is looked after, Bálint as well can focus even closer on accompanying her and his playing became more modal, when previously it was faster, more percussive and drive – giving. This makes her sing almost like an operatic Diva, when she can finally unveil the charm of the long lasting high notes and focus on finishing them in the silky fading way.
Another ballad San Francisco, brings again a lot of beautiful thrills, this is probably most reminding the previous recording one, as her connection with guitarist remains very close and she uses loops with her own vocals as well, when section makes it only to the little breaks.
First Night is something which introduces a new aesthetic into Veronicas expression artillery. It is very cold and Nordic song, in fact is even articulated in the way which reminds me what Sidsel Endresen used to do with Bugge Wesseltoft. Or territories occupied by Lena Willemark alike. Double bass solo making an outro from that nocturnal space is beautifully fingered, woody and full of melody.
Second Night in comparison is like getting back to bed with the girl you already know very well. This is Veronica at her best. Shaping phrase with a great attention. Jazzy guitar aliquoted passages enriched with a gently brushed Toms, brings a similar mood as Pat Matheny and Paul Wertico used to create.
But then the Last Night is coming and it all breaks and turns upside down. Veronica’s recitative – descriptive voice takes a lead and builds a drama. She does a phenomenal input here, especially the part sung over the rolling rhythm. Her different lines looped into a single tissue creates something which might be best described as a tribal ritual with the emotional intensity it builds. This cannonade finds the way out in the psychedelic gallop, like from the best Gong days.
This three nights makes me emotionally fulfilled and I could marry the girl blindfolded, but would you believe me if I tell you that there is still lot left to explore. There is , as we are just in the middle. Isn’t life beautiful.