Night on Earth

Second Hand

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Starting with whispers and distant notes tuned up by various musicians, Second Hand almost feels like something between a thriller and a jam session. It turns out to be an appropriate way for the Greek-based Night on Earth to begin, as the album is shot through with the kind of moody sentiments that fans of everyone from Leonard Cohen to Nico, the Tindersticks to later Marianne Faithfull can relate to. Lead singer Sophia Sarri's strong but still aching voice has the dramatic sense of classic cabaret down, while the understated power of the performers, strings, and noir-tinged beats and bass sets the mood early on, living up to the band's name nicely. As a result, when feedback first fully crunches in on "Crocus," the effect is shocking given what has happened before, suggesting a looming presence that does not always announce itself. Alternating between Greek- and English-language lyrics, Sarri's delivery is never less than compelling, and the whole is a dark, enthralling gem.

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