Song of the Week: "Floating On A Moment"


I came very late to trip-hop, but once I did, I immersed myself in it from its beginnings with Tricky and Massive Attack through iterations from everyone from Bjork to Portishead and beyond. [N.B. Although many have disagreed with me, trip-hop found its apotheosis with Amy Winehouse, and what she and others call neo-soul is an amalgamation of trip-hop, soul, and jazz elements. I have considered writing an article on this but haven't found the time.]

In any case, I became a huge Portishead fan as soon as I heard them and a Beth Gibbons fan. I consider her among the most criminally underrated vocalists of our time.

Ms. Gibbons is about to release her first solo album in over 20 years, entitled Lives Outgrown. "Floating on a Moment" is the first single from the album, and it is simply terrific. With touches of trip-hop, soft rock, and "torchy" vocals, its insistent softness is strangely compelling, even at five-and-a-half minutes. Lyrically, its central theme -- that even a single moment can be a journey -- might seem obvious, even trite. But in her hands, it is turned into something far more ethereal and more thoughtful.

The video accompanying the song is one of the trippiest, most psychedelic videos in some time and almost worth the entire price of admission.

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