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Jessica Bailiff and Annelies Monseré

There is the old adage that "brevity is the soul of wit" which, in some cases, may be true.  However, in the case of 16 minute EPs such as this, brevity is more of a frustrating tease than a positive quality.  This four track EP, recorded while Bailiff was touring Europe is such a purely compelling piece of work that it makes me wish it was a little bit longer. 



There is a fascinating intimacy to the music on this EP that is accentuated in the simple arrangements used.  Most songs feature only Bailiff's guitar, Monseré’s cello, and the vocals, which are the .  Both artists contribute vocals, notably in harmonies on "Let Time Breathe" and "Shadow."  By far, the vocals on this disc are among the most beautiful and delicate I've ever heard: words alone cannot express how wonderful they are.

The tracks are consistent with Bailiff's solo work in that they have a minimal, bare-bones quality to the instrumentation and composition, yet still manage to be engrossing and have a simple, pure beauty that few other artists can attain.  Her work always has this intimate quality, but this collaborative recording feels almost like recordings that were made for the duo's own private listening, so it's almost like peering into someone's private journal.

The packaging adds to the extremely personal nature of the music, resembling an old LP sleeve that could have been past from friend to friend, the inner sleeve even featuring hand-written liner notes by Monseré.  Although this record is too short in duration, the limited pressing of 310 copies is perhaps a greater concern.  I sincerely hope that perhaps a more expansive collaboration could be in the works, but I do feel quite satisfied to have this material as it stands. 

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