Jolie Holland has always operated outside the conventional restraints of folk, jazz and country music. She’s dabbled in and blended those styles and more but on Wine Dark Sea she throws them all in the air, managing to juggle and reconnect them (and others) in thrillingly madcap, visceral, primal and intellectual combinations. Instruments rattle, grate and vibrate around her still bluesy, dive bar via jazz club voice, certainly placing her as something of a Tom Waits-esque musical alchemist. ‘Out On The Wine Dark Sea‘ and ‘Saint Dymphna‘ are particular highlights of an incredibly accomplished record, easily her finest yet.
this review was first published in The Music