Unpopular Advent 2019 – Day 10

Elizabeth – ‘Meander’ from ‘The Wonderful World Of Nature’ LP

Long(ish) term Unpopular readers/listeners will have heard Elizabeth Mitchell before, in her guise as part of the Melbourne group Totally Mild (four appearances on Unpopular mixes, dating back to September 2015) and I’m sure will have picked up on this first solo set with eager delight.

‘The Wonderful World Of Nature’ sees Elizabeth very much taking similar paths to those followed by Totally Mild, mining veins not dissimilar to those explored by the likes of, say, First Aid Kit and Tiny Ruins. Which is to say that it inhabits a landscape of vague melancholy and minor aching polished with a sheen of candy-coated vocals that slip over our throats like silk scarves dipped in honey. It’s all a bit like Princess Chelsea starring in a Sofia Coppola movie, and there is nothing wrong with that after all.

If we were being extraordinarily and unseasonably harsh we might suggest that for an album which carries itself at such a consistently demure pace for the entirety, ‘The Wonderful World Of Nature’ may be just a shade overlong, but this would be us being unduly picky. For really Elizabeth’s delicious voice does carry our attentions for the duration, teasing us forwards with rich timbres and easing us upwards with effortlessly soaring slights of hand.

It is never better than on the mellifluous ‘Meander’, in which Elizabeth takes us for a three minute and twenty second stroll around the river bank, holding hands, feeding ducks and wishing we were far away. Lit in a violet hour glow ‘Meander’ slinks deliciously past us in a vaguely post-Shoegaze fuzz, not unlike Drugstore shot through a diffusion filter. It’s a number that knows when to lift and when to ease and Elizabeth teases us with perfect timing. When her voice surfs up when the heat moves on you can hear the spirits evaporating in a delicious mist of pleasure. These fleeting moments we treasure and revisit in our memories. Me and her. Timeless. Priceless.

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