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With “Great White Shark”, Jessie Kilguss follows in the footsteps of such iconic artists as Sharon Van Etten,PJ Harvey, Lucinda Williams, and perhaps even Kate Bush. Those artists have been able to take folk music, alternative pop, and singer-songwriter creations, call them what you will, and polish them into perfection, give them a rare poise, turn the good into the great, and that is exactly what is going on here.
In the hands of most others, the song, with its repetitive and dynamically consistent nature, would undoubtedly just fall on deaf ears, another reasonable song in the indie-folk-pop pack. But Kilguss’ vocals immediately transform it into a thing of grace, her voice crystal clear yet warm and seductive. And then you come to the lyrics. The subject matter is gruesome, at least on the surface, the song itself acknowledges as much but when treated with her trademark magical realism, the story takes on a more fairytale quality turning it from fact to fable and making it palatable.
It has been four years since her last album The Fastness and this single heralds a new one on the horizon, wonderfully titled What Do Whales Dream About at Night? (there does seem to be a bit of an ocean theme running through her work) and on the strength of just this one single, it is an album that you are definitely going to want to hear. Put it on your wish list now.
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