Album Review: San Dusky feat Brijitte West – “The Americana Dream”
It’s been a few years since we last had the pleasure of listening to recorded output from the very talented former NY Loose frontwoman Brijitte West. Aside from a few live appearances here and there, she last featured in our review pages when she teamed up with Croydon’s finest Kitty Hudson for the supremely tuneful slice of Noo Yoik indebted street punk that was Brijitte West & The Desperate Hopefuls (an album that you really should go and track down if you’ve not done so already).
Put all thoughts of that album (and of NY Loose’s output for that matter) to one side though – “The Americana Dream” (recorded way back in 2003) shows a very different but no less impressive side to Brijitte’s songwriting. Much more laid back than her other output, it’s clear from opener “Lonely Satellite” (a quite lovely song about the annoyance of sitting in on your own on a Friday night when your friends are all out on the town) and the yearning “Green On The Vine” that this is going to be a most enjoyable listen. Of course, there’s been signs before that Brijitte has her leanings towards Americana and alt-country (her duet with D-Generation’s Jesse Malin “How To Be Good” on the Desperate Hopefuls album being probably the best example) but an album like this is proof positive that her expertise isn’t solely confined to the street-suss punk of her other bands.
Of course, there is the occasional similarity – “Last Ditch Serenade” could be a more mid-paced Desperate Hopefuls number with its tuneful riff and insistent chorus but the more reflective likes of “So Glad You’re Strong” and “The Yearling” could almost be Mazzy Star in one of their poppier moments with their air of wistful melancholia.
It may have taken a decade to resurface and be quite a departure from her previous work but this is proof positive that Brijitte West is a very talented musician and songwriter and comes highly recommended. Musicians and bands who can put out material of this caliber are the sort of people we should treasure.