Unloved: Jade Vincent, Keefus Ciancia, David Holmes. The machinations of a benevolent fate brought them together. A glorious serendipity. In Los Angeles, Ciancia - producer, keyboardist, creator of soundtracks, True Detective among them - met David Holmes, the innovative, inquisitive and ingenious Belfast DJ who recast himself as master of song and image for film and television. Ciancia invited Holmes to the Rotary Room in Los Feliz, where the extraordinary Jade Vincent was singing.
Tuesday nights in the Rotary Room in Los Feliz: a place of thrilling sonic alchemy, where musicians could experiment and collaborate at Ciancia and Vincent’s long-running salon. Holmes was asked to DJ and then to curate another night – and then another.
Nights bled into later nights. Conversation spun into collaboration. These three artists, kindred spirits, sonic familiars, spoke the same language, one whose lexicon included Jack Nitzsche, Morricone, Nino Rota, the electronic sounds of Raymond Scott, the vocabulary of vocal instrumentalists and fearless raconteurs, Edda Dell’Orso, Ruth White, Françoise Hardy, Connie Francis, Brigitte Fontaine, Jacques Brel, Elvis and Lee Hazlewood. Finding sound and programmed beats, Keefus and David excavated and innovated, experimented and re-interpreted, creating a landscape for Jade’s melodies and lyrics, for sublime songs of lament and confession. The legendary Hollywood Vox Studios was where the Unloved trio formally came together as a band, in a studio almost original to its 1936 incarnation.
In the spring of 2016, Unloved were guilty, their album Guilty of Love wholly modern yet steeped in the rich, redolent depths of the past. In 2019, they were heartbroken, with the audacious voodoo spells and sweet delights of Heartbreak. And all the while, Unloved’s immersive power and playful menace has fitted the slippery thriller series Killing Eve like a velvet glove, the thread to the needle. The music and sound of Unloved plays an integral role as their music is the soundtrack, the score, one of the core characters unseen.
And now, in 2022, it’s the magnificent, metaphysical PINK ALBUM. Be seduced by the whispered, languorous, bluesy, not so sweet nothings of “Love Experiment” and the lippy insouciance of “Turn of the screw”. Thrill to the infinite variety: “Mother’s been a bad girl” is brazen, and “I don’t like you anymore” gloriously sultry. “Foolin’”, where languid, world-weary jazz sounds are skewed by a phantasmagoric organ from a funfair hallucinated, and there’s the sparkling fury and celestial chorus of “Rainbrose”, as though some flower-festooned goddess is emerging.
Go from the jaunty keyboards and hey! hey! hey! of “WTC” to the melancholic poise of “Ever”, the jittery electropop of “Girl can’t help it”, to the spacious Morricone-tinged “Lucky”. Be reminded that the past is a snare, the future doesn’t care. All we have is Now. There is psychedelic world-warping sound, but also times when reality is acutely, achingly, present. “Number in my phone” is a beautiful, wistful paean to those no longer here. Jade’s remarkable voice - whispering, icy, lush, wounded, smoky - unifies the album with its striking diversity.
Unvarnished, unabashed, unbridled, uncensored: rising from the ashes, this is raw emotion transmogrified. This is experimental free-flow form, from instrumental arrangement to voice. It’s Man, Woman, Human, Love and Death.
02. Waiting For Tomorrow
04. Girl Can't Help It
05. I Don’t Like You Anymore
07. Mother’s Been A Bad Girl
11. Sorry, Baby
12. Number In My Phone
13. Call Me When You Have A Clue
14. No Substance
15. Love Experiment
16. Turn Of The Screw
17. To The Day I Die
18. Walk On, Yeah
20. There’s No Way
22. Thinkin' About Her