I am continuously unimpressed by UK Anti-folk. However, when a CD arrives with the endorsements of its flashy American parent, Anti-folk New York, my ears are wont to prick up, and I develop the kind of nervous excitement that comes with unwrapping a car-shaped present at Christmas.
The genre has in its existence provided platforms for some invaluable outside musicians, ranging from fashionistas Beck and Regina Spektor, to fuzzy animals and circus-masters like the Moldy Peaches and Curtis Eller, and into this finest of traditions steps twenty-something songstress Miki Huber, whose second release 'Flutter' brings her across the sea to our stages.
Having heard so little, I would hesitate to over-praise, but this handful offers a taste of a potentially great talent. The attraction of this EP is in its containment. With her clear flat vocals reminiscent of an unembellished Cat Power, Huber seems removed even to her own music. Her writing is unsentimental to a fault, with meanings veiled in between language so blank, it could be a series of Haikus, penned by David Lynch during the midget years. The songs are sometimes cold, occasionally repetitive, but in their best moments they are compelling, dream-like and commendably weird.
Stand out tracks are 'Cat in the Hat' and 'Blow Them Away', the first of which is now one of my favourite songs, and from these I know my interest in Huber will extend long past this article.
Like I said, I won't lay it on too thickly until I've watched her play. If you'd care to join me in introduction to the Mysterious Miss Huber, who aptly grew up on a goat and honey-bee farm in the Mojave Desert, you can check her upcoming dates on www.mikihuber.com. As for the EP, if you're a fan of Jonathan Richman, Adam Green, or Cat Power, it's probably worth tracking down a copy, if only for the brilliant, brilliant 'Cat in the Hat'.