Monday, 6 December 2021

My Top Twenty-One of 2021: #18

18. Afterlight - Afterlight / Thea Gilmore - The Emancipation of Eva Grey

Painful break-up records account for some of the best albums ever released... but Thea Gilmore took that to a new level this year. 

2021 actually saw two releases from Thea: her "final" album, a jazzy show-stopper channeling Billie Holliday, Liza Minelli and Noel Coward (inspired by her contribution to the soundtrack of the latest movie version of Blithe Spirit)... and the first "post-Thea" record, Afterlight, a much darker affair that is at times as painfully raw and confrontational as Nick Cave's Skeleton Tree.

Having followed Thea's career since the beginning, I found the revelations on Afterlight to be shocking, and although it's an important, cathartic piece of art, I think I'll end up returning more to the playfulness of the Eva Grey record, in the same way that I can acknowledge Skeleton Tree as among Cave's best, but I'm probably not going to listen to it much again . Still, whatever Thea, or Afterlight, does next, I wish her well. She's free now... the sky's the limit.

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