What impresses first about this collab between New York singer/songwriter Nina Nastasia and Jim White, drummer for Aussie post-rock intro combo Dirty Three, is how naked it is. When they came together intending to make a stripped-down record, they weren't fucking around.
Resisting any studio flourishes, they give us a straight guitar-drums-vocals-and-nothing-else arrangement, captained by producer-to-the-indie-stars Steve Albini to ensure its austerity.
White keeps himself in check for the most part, letting Nastasia's emotionally damaged voice take the forefront. When he does let loose, his beats getting jazzy and spastic, Albini takes him down in the mix. Nastasia, on the other hand, doesn't rein in her taste for dour song-poems, making this kind of a glum 30-minute listen. But it's not without its beautiful moments.