[sic] Magazine

Quinta – The Quick Of The Heart

Quinta is London-based multi-instrumentalist Katherine Mann and her beautiful debut LP, My Sister, Boudicca, was released way back in 2009 on indie label Tartaruga. A blend of folk, neo-classical and traditional singer-songwriting, it was as soothing as it was distinctive, Mann’s deployment of violin, viola, musical saw, ukulele, keyboards … breathe … lever harp, clarinet, recorder, melodica and glockenspiel naturally combining to varied effect. Since 2009, and as well as her role in experimental arts collective Collectress and being Music Fellow at the Rambert Dance Company, the talented Miss Mann has been keeping busy on projects with Bat For Lashes, Patrick Wolf and Radiohead’s Philip Selway, not to mention a number of others.

Feeling the call of solo composition once more, Boudicca’s long-awaited follow-up is now here and – true to its title – The Quick Of The Heart does pulse afresh with an exotic sense of invention. Several of its tracks also notably mention morning’s first light and those that don’t are literal celebrations of life. The Quick Of The Heart is consequently as crisp as a Spring daybreak, snowdrops pushing through the frost. All this fertility translates into a classy run of vocal pieces and instrumentals, the piano setting both the tempo and mood throughout.

It’s imaginative without being ostentatious, striking minimalism rubbing shoulders with busy arrangements. Amidst pin-drop ivories that’ll stand the hairs up on the back of your neck come dizzying oscillations and rich pivots to symphonic laptronica, Quinta’s honeyed lyrics parting the waves majestically. Gently murmuring ambient textures help temper back-masking, complex loops and multi-tracking. Drifting drones becomes transportative, disorientating chime-work arriving as if from another dimension. Strings and beats make for surprisingly subdued but luxurious bedfellows, strong percussion providing hooks to prevent choral harmonies from floating off entirely to be with the angels. It’s all very atmospheric, the kind of album that’ll stop you in your tracks as it plays through, plucked strings and a light dose of twee adding extra charm and humanity to an otherwise altogether otherworldly encounter.

~The Quick Of The Heart is released July 10th 2017.~