At once insistent and elusive, “Black Silk” unfolds in a reverbed acoustic setting that evokes a sense of bygone remoteness; we feel immediately pulled into a magical past that somehow blends the Victorian and the medieval. And yet this sound is likewise very 2010s. Go figure.
At the center of the song is White’s spacious, slightly smoky alto. She sings as if to hypnotize you. The music assists, as she backs her soothing, folk-like melody with a river of double-time finger-picked arpeggios that lull us so with their diligence that we almost don’t notice the rather threatening entrance of the electric guitar about midway through. The song’s very structure, in fact, leads us along as if spellbound, lacking a true chorus while flowing through a mostly unrepeated series of interrelated pieces. The listener can feel both lost and dizzy by the time we get to the climactic clearing. At which point, all White has to say is “oh oh oh,” as you’ll see.
Born in California, White ended up launching her solo music career while living in France in the ’00s, and still has a larger following overseas than in the U.S. “Black Silk” is from Ode To Sentience, her third album, which was released on the Talitres label in France last year. The American release is slated for May on Antenna Farm Records. White was previously featured on Fingertips last March.