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April 23, 2024

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Bourbon Princess
Black Feather Wings (Accurate Records)

By: Scott D. Lewis

My, what an ideal band name. We'd expect a Bourbon Princess to be majestic and messy, capable of exhibiting grandeur and poise, but equally likely to take a header down the stone steps. Of course, when our Bourbon Princess reached the bottom and got up, she'd be sure to brush the creases out of her gown and thrust her bloodied nose back in the air. A vehicle for the provocative storms gently gusting out of the mouth of sultry singer Monique Ortiz, Bourbon Princess has released an oddly arresting sophomore effort. Those familiar with the criminally overlooked Diane Izzo or Antietam's Tara Key (whose first solo album happens to be titled Bourbon County) will recognize and appreciate the terrain laid out on *Black Feather Wings.* It is stark, hollowed-out and swollen with as much tragedy as beauty. Ortiz sounds like she could be Patti Smith's detox-hating daughter or PJ Harvey's sister slammed in solitary confinement. Her literate, colorful narrative and skewed reflections slide out of her mouth like thick opium smoke, and the minimal, jazz-rock band (featuring Morphine sax man Dana Colley and drummer Jerome Deupree ) keeps things moving along without ever getting in the way. Several songs pay homage to Lou Reed's cool detachment while a few others, especially Jerkoff, bring Bryan Ferry's slushy suave to mind. While it's certainly not the most immediately accessible album out there, it is certainly one of the most interesting, involving and compelling pieces of sonic art to arrive in some time.
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