Jo Schornikow – Secret Weapon review

Secret Meeting score: 80

by Philip Moss

At just 25 minutes long, Jo Schornikow’s first album released through the ever reliable Austin,TX based label, Keeled Scales, offers a brief snapshot into the Australian singer/songwriter’s life, and its quality more than outlasts its brief running time.

Alright has an almost filmic quality, and without any percussive element, her delicate is voice pinned down entirely by droning synths. She searches for answers – trying to personify and exemplify what love is before almost ambivalently, if not apathetically, stating, ‘love is alright’, as the song ironically evolves into a stately middle eight.

Schornkow’s Aussie accent is fairly well contained throughout the record, but it’s most noticeable on Only One – the lushly delicate and, it must be said, finest moment on the LP. Ghosts feels more traditionally folky, and is reminiscent of works from Julia Jacklin’s recent offering, Crushing. Single, Incomplete, has the same moody textures that made this year’s Ex:Re album so addictive. While despite the singer’s vulnerabilities and self doubts running throughout, the biggest example is offered on the rather twee Will You Miss Me.

It could be argued that Secret Weapon should be marked an EP rather than a long player, but don’t let that put you off – it simply gives you even more of an excuse to drop the needle and spin it again. And trust me – it’s that good you’ll want to.

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