Jarboe – Anhedoniac (2004)

Jarboe is just a treasure, having offered so much to Swans in countering the sheer terrifying impact of their music with her lush and iconic vocals and keyboard melodies. In light of this, I suppose, I’ve also found the unhinged lunacy of her solo stuff a bit intimidating in comparison. Anhedoniac is a meandering, hour long trip through hell. It begins with these fantastic Middle Eastern elements to the first few tracks, and trials off through a myriad of bizarre and unsettling instrumentation from there; be it analogue or synthetic. There is a lot of familiarity here with the equally-as-unsettling Soundtracks For The Blind by Swans, which didn’t come out that long before this. However, where Soundtracks… had a glimmer of hope twinkling underneath its complex atmospheres, Anhedoniac is much more bleak and hopeless. This is a tortured record. I guess the name says it all.