Truly brilliant music pays no heed to the superficial boundaries of genre and scene. Creating emotionally transformative art is down to the inherent power of the artist, regardless of the stylistic medium he or she adopts. So it is that LURKER turns its attention to Serafina Steer, an English girl with a harp, a synthesizer and a delicate voice that will resonate deeply with all those who appreciate exceptional music. Lazy comparisons to Joanna Newsom have been made, due to the simple fact that both are female and both play the harp. The charge is completely unfounded and suggestive of the same underlying misogyny that besets female metal artists. In reality, Serafina’s music is far more pensive, restrained and lucid than the dream-like sounds of Newsom.
Produced by Jarvis Cocker of Pulp, Steer’s debut The Moths Are Real is getting a lot of hype from beard-stroking ATP types, and seems capable of propelling Serafina into the headlines of that particular world. But such growing support is well deserved. This is a diverse, intriguing album that showcases an artist operating at the height of her power. The wonder of this work is Steer’s ability to combine a timid and raw emotional vulnerability with musical self-assurance. There’s an almost apologetic air in her voice, yet the instrumentation speaks with confidence and, as the album progresses, the diversity of elements she brings to bear creates a warm, well-rounded and resonant texture that raises the album to a standard far above its contemporaries. This is a starkly beautiful record and one that will no doubt cause significant waves in mainstream circles. Well worth exploring and a rewarding experience from start to finish.