Hailing from North London, Alice Gun is a classically-trained, self-taught multi-instrumentalist who can play guitars, glockenspiel, double bass, cello, E-bow, accordion and a lopsided upright, apparently. Oh and she can sing, boy can she sing! Alice records at her home and in an isolated farmhouse in one of the only places in the UK that I would move to (if money were no option), the Lake District, where she writes much of her music.
Having worked with such names as The White Stripes and Ed Harcourt as well as doing house music vocals for the money (well why wouldn’t you?), Alice previously released an EP, “The Swimmer” which saw none other than BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson wax lyrical, describing it as “beautiful and profoundly affecting.” She has now released the second single from her album Blood and Bone, a track called “Metal Spider” which is one that should see her take her place as a musical force to be reckoned with. Ably assisted by her mother on French Horn, Damon Albarn-collaborator and Ambiguous label founder Al Mobbs on double bass, Robbie Jarvis on drums and Sam Campari, another multi-instrumentalist, who is also responsible for much of the Gun artwork.
I suggest that when you are ready to listen to this track you find somewhere quiet and free of distractions so that you can fully appreciate what you are about to experience. From the beginning simple piano intro, “Metal Spider” creeps along, suitably imitating the creepy crawly that Alice is rhythmically chanting about. The hypnotically stripped backing track of cello, piano and guitar, all played by Alice, builds into a multi layered, multi instrumental crescendo before ending in a completely unexpected fashion that just leaves you wanting more. If only more artists listened to music like this the world would be a better place.
It’s been a while since I got this excited by a female performer, the last one being PJ Harvey, whom Alice has drawn some comparisons to. I would just like to go on record as saying, thank you Alice Gun, I am glad that I’ve discovered you.