Album Review

Billy Nomates - CACTI

There’s still that personable rawness to her production, but her vocal offers warmth.

Billy Nomates - CACTI
For anyone whose knowledge of Billy Nomates is just in passing, ‘CACTI’ might come as somewhat of a 180-degree swivel: the minimalist post-punk of ‘NO’ or her turn with Sleaford Mods on the Nottingham pair’s ‘Mork n Mindy’ sounds all the coarser in comparison to even the most rudimentary on the Bristol-based multi-instrumentalist and producer’s second full-length. There’s still that personable rawness to her production – the synthetic drums and often sparse arrangement mirroring her frequently despondent lyrical themes (“The death of everything real has happened…” begins ‘apathy is wild’). But her vocal offers warmth: whether via punkish means on opener ‘balance is gone’, or somewhere between Chrissie Hynde and Sheryl Crow on the distorted, Americana-tinged ‘spite’. “Don’t you act like I’m not the fucking man,” she almost drawls. The standout, meanwhile, is ‘fawner’, an acoustic-led showcase of vulnerability, which positions sounds and words in reflective ways. “The ladies in waiting don’t want me around / And that’s why I’m gonna stay,” she delivers softly, while the sounds of a small venue tinker below, bringing to mind the old adage of never being more alone than when in a crowd.

Tags: Billy Nomates, Reviews, Album Reviews

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