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Guest of the Month April 2010: Laura Whitticase

Laura is the new Applications Co-ordinator at PRS for Music Foundation, having previously worked at Youth Music as a Grants Assessor, Team Assistant and a judge on the panel which selected unsigned bands to play at last year’s Underage Festival.

A keen musician working in a range of styles from experimental electronics to alternative folk, she performs solo and as part of various groups, playing a range of instruments from the harmonium to autoharp and utilising samplers, loop pedals and drum machines in her solo work. She has also promoted experimental music events in and around London and co-edited a new music and arts independent publication.

Here’s what Laura Whitticase has been listening to:

Mount Eerie –’Wind’s Poem’
I could have picked any of the recordings from Phil Elverum (also founding and sole permanent member of The Microphones) to list as albums that I’m listening to, but as this one is the most recent, I thought I’d mention it. Wind’s Poem sees Elverum venture into the dark and possibly surprising (given 2008’s release ‘Lost Wisdom’ with Julie Doiron) world of black metal. However, despite opening track ‘Wind’s Dark Poem’ roaring with distortion, as well as other high octane tracks ‘The Hidden Stone’ and ‘Mouth of the Sky’, this is still unmistakably the work of Mount Eerie. His unsophisticated vocals and distinctive production has retained the characteristic musical motifs which have spanned Elverum’s career, and drew me into his truly remarkable world 8 years ago. True brilliance.

Julianna Barwick – ‘Sanguine’
I love this record. Julianna Barwick uses multi-track loop pedals to create stunning textured layers of her voice resulting in an extraordinary, ethereal sound. Although lyrics are few and far between, you get a real sense of place from the sounds Barwick creates and builds on over the course of each song. Reminiscent of choir boys and Brian Eno (see ‘Music for Airports’) in places, this is a luscious treat of an album.

Panda Bear – ‘Person Pitch’
Panda Bear has had a clear influence on Animal Collective’s latest offering and for good reason. This album sees him use two samplers to create dreamy, repetitive sounds that remind me of being outside. I particularly like ‘Bros’ for the cooing owl at the beginning. Lovely stuff.

Diane Cluck – ‘Oh Vanille/Ova Nille’
This little known media-shy singer has provided me with endless joy since stumbling across her 4 years ago. Her honest song-writing and unique composition makes for an enrapturing listen. Using a four track tape recorder, she layers her voice over intricate guitar pickings, droning harmonium and, on occasion, a series of glass jars. I saw her perform last year and the whole room was silent throughout, totally intoxicated. A beautiful and humble performer, if you get the chance to see her you should.