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Album review: TRIXIE WHITLEY

Porta Bohemica (STRONG BLOOD MUSIC/BMI)

Belgian instrumentalist finds closure from her past with purifying sophomore.

When you’re walking the rain-spattered streets alone at the dead of night, Porta Bohemica makes for perfect listening. Within the empty spaces of Trixie Whitley’s dark, brooding and minimalistic expressionism, your mind begins to wander and reflect. Evocative and soothing, it’s apt that this record is named after an old train line that once connected Germany and Austria, and inspired by long, lonely journeys and the shedding of gratuitous baggage.

Whitley’s instrumentation is never overpopulated but always purposeful, and it’s precisely that nakedness that makes it so inspiring. Songs like the melancholy but infectious Salt and the heartbroken electronica of Soft Spoken Words, with its twangy guitar motif slithering atop a steady, anxious beat, best represent an album that plays out like the healing of wounds. The blues doesn’t get much more cathartic than this.