Nancy Garcia - Be The Climb (Ecstatic Peace!)

Another day, another Ecstatic Peace album to fawn over.

Released Jul 26th, 2010 via Ecstatic Peace! / By Liv Willars
Nancy Garcia - Be The Climb (Ecstatic Peace!) It's a well known fact that Thurston Moore has a good ear for original, intriguing music. The Sonic Youth front man has a been a key figure in the American alt-indie scene for well over twenty years, and thanks to his never wavering fan-boy interest in new music, any act he gives a nod of approval to is bound to make for an interesting listen. And recently signed to his Ecstatic Peace label, Nancy Garcia is the archetypal intrepid artist.
From the first listen, Be The Climb is immediately powerful; unapologetically bold yet effortlessly all-consuming. Opener 'These People' creates a familiar first impression, soaking up Sonic Youth-era Dirty sounds and spitting out warm, poppy wit with surly lyrics: “Take off your shoes, take off your fucking shoes, it's the only way you'll feel my ass while you kick it”. But it's a false sense of security for the pop fan, as second track 'Be The Climb' begins to showcase Nancy's love of heavier, brutal overdrive with chugging guitars, wailing shouts and an air of menacing resistance.
Tracks like 'Bone' and 'From The Kneeling' use coarse, industrial layers of shuddering reverb, utilising jagged, stuttering guitar effects and electronic glitches that appear to soundtrack the subconscious mind. She builds on repetition, sometimes solidly continuing one specific sound for minutes on end, creating a sparse but fluid sound that never falters or becomes tired.
And then there are the softer pauses, the time-out from the mania, like 'Perfectly Framed'. In these moments of reflection her voice becomes a subdued, as she asks “Have you been through enough shit? The longer you sit, the darker your spit”. In these quieter times, there are elements of Sleater-Kinney's sporadic yet tender approach, and chiming, lazy guitars that could sit happily in a Pavement record as it occasionally slopes into inebriated territory.
Nancy's apt at capturing the high energy of a live performance, and simply listening to this record conjures up images of her on stage, transforming along with each song's mood. I later found out that she's also a dancer, and that she's also choreographed a performance, 'I Need More', to work in conjunction with this album, which goes even further to explain how whole and accomplished this record is. Nancy Garcia has created one of my favourite records of the year so far. In Thurston we trust.