Review: Rabbit Velvet – Crows And Doves

Several years ago, Danielle Kimak Stauss was the frontwoman for The Lost Patrol, an indie guitar outfit with a taste for the “gothic twang” sound briefly popularised by The Howling Bells. Whilst The Lost Patrol remain an active outfit, their former singer left and is now pursuing a new adventure. This isn’t an unusual happening in music but the move to experimental electronic/ambient music is certainly an unexpected one to take.

‘Right Now’ may have the aura of post-rave about it but it’s a memorably stirring opener;  Stauss lending the song further gravitas with her melancholic tones. Listening further, the arrangements are consistently inventive. ‘Flying Over London’ may seem a little lightweight at first but the acoustic guitar melody, trip-hop beats and echo effects make for a great combination; all topped off by Stauss’ lighter than air vocals. Meanwhile, for ‘Anything Else’ it’s like listening to a lost recording of Dusty Springfield doing an ambient turn. The group even save their most poppy song to last; courtesy of the naggingly infectious ‘Maybe’.

The album only slips on tracks like ‘Haarlem Haunt’ or ‘Twilight To Sunrise’. Significantly, these are also the times when Stauss sounds like a frontwoman for an anonymous chill-out/DJ act. 

‘Crows And Doves’ is a very fascinating album to listen to. Both Stauss and the musicians around her create breezy soundscapes but there’s a strong emotional core to the best songs here which surpasses the chill-out status the record could have been labelled with.

Web Sites:
Rabbit Velvet Official Site
Rabbit Velvet MySpace

Further Listening:
Life Project, The Lost Patrol

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