For Canadian singer-songwriter Christine Leakey it's been a long and winding road that has eventually led to this, her debut solo album. After years involved in various musical projects with support slots that range from chamber ensembles to Iggy Pop, she has accumulated a rich cauldron of musical influences and experiences to dip into in order to weave the intricate and ornate tapestry that is 'Tapping Trees In A Trinket Box Of Treasure'. By the sound of it, Christine is not only a perfectionist (some of the attention to detail here is incredible) but has a wonderfully vivid imagination.
An obvious parallel can be drawn to the striking individuality and invention of Kate Bush or PJ Harvey's 'White Chalk' album. These songs are remarkably delicate and well thought out; the overall experience is like being plunged into a fantasy world. This is psychedelic but not in an acid-fried way, 'Tapping Trees In A Trinket Box Of Treasure' is more akin to a Disney dream-sequence or a grown-up Alice returning to Wonderland. A plethora of instruments, conventional and obscure, are used to develop this effect and it seems no stone is left unturned in her mission to create the desired sensations.
If that all seems a bit heavy going, it should be pointed out that above all this album is playful and enchanting, not just clever and elaborate. Try listening to 'Lovely' or 'Miss Betty Grable' without being drawn into her ethereal universe. The very nature of these off-kilter but mature compositions will mean this record is unlikely to appeal to all, but anyone who has the time and the desire to investigate musical territories they'd normally avoid will be rewarded. Once you've opened and explored this entrancing box of treasure you'll surely be back for more.
Christine Leakey's website
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