Etienne de Crécy / Baxter Dury / Delilah Holliday

B.E.D

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On paper, the combination of French house pioneer Étienne de Crécy, caustic monologist Baxter Dury, and new-breed riot grrrl Delilah Holliday of Skinny Girl Diet seems like it wouldn't work. Or maybe it was just mad enough to work, because their 2018 album, B.E.D, is a delight. The performers work to fit their individual skills into a cohesive unit; de Crécy builds sparse, bubbling musical beds over which Dury intones his tales of woe and disdain, while Holliday brings some velvety drama to the proceedings. Tracks like the electro-lite "Tais Toi" and the rubbery "How Do You Make Me Feel" are a perfect blend of their skills; Dury is hilarious and debauched, de Crécy lays down a funky machine-made groove, and Holliday sings the chorus with style. It's a pattern repeated with slight variations (like "Fly Away," where Holliday takes over the lead vocals with winning results, or "White Coats," which actually touches on some real emotion under the snark) on the rest of the record's eight short tracks. Indeed, if there is any complaint that can be made about B.E.D, it's that it's too short. This magical grouping of talents could have made an album twice as long and it wouldn't have gotten stale. Hopefully it's not a one-time situation, and they will clear space on their schedules for a follow-up.

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