Friday, January 11, 2013

Artist Of The Day: Broadcast

Among the most rewarding indie acts of the past decade, Broadcast's stint appeared to reach its conclusion in 2011 when vocalist Trish Keenan succumbed to pneumonia. At only 42 years age, her loss was as devastating as it was unexpected; a tragic full stop for a group and musician who still had so much left to give. Initially a quartet, the Birmingham-based outfit delivered four albums, seven EPs and two compilations between 1996 and 2009, winning praise aplenty from critics and simultaneously becoming one of the most beloved names of the UK's indie underground. Intended as a comeback after an atypical period of inactivity, the band had been working on a score to Peter Strickland's Berberian Sound Studio before Kennan's passing left their plans in turmoil.

Whether through despair at letting their labours go to waste or the will to grant his wife a fitting epitaph, bassist and sole remaining member James Cargill picked up their pieces and crafted a piece which, while far from what they originally intended only serves to emphasise the void their departure will leave. Shimmering with the ambiance and intensity of their best work, its electronically-tinged soundscapes perfectly capture the scenes of emotional trauma within the film, impressing both as a stand-alone suite and with the cinematic visual aids. Engrossing and unsettling, it's without doubt my album of the year so far - not that that's saying much!

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