In his search for deliverance, the London-based multi-instrumentalist has become a product of self sacrifice in this melancholic masterpiece.
Ironically, Muca and his Cheap Red Wine take the form of a Pinot Noir; as luxurious as they are tumultuous. This rer harbours something of a Grace-era Jeff Buckley ambience, both ineffably passionate and notably lonely.
The creamy resonance from the gorgeous string swells accentuate this viewpoint, breathing subtle nuances of jazz, providing a richness and depth not dissimilar from the velvety plonk the track gives its name to. Cheap Red Wine begins slowly, setting the scene as if being lilted in a boutique Italian taverna. A bare-boned acoustic guitar jangles to the tick of subdued drum fills, furnishing the instrumentation with new context.
Muca’s most notable achievement is the mastery with which they use texture, embossing their soundscape with soft brushes of indie folk. At once ethereal and crushingly real, it evolves into a swelling and receding dance like a moody sea, safety is not guaranteed, nor resolution. There is a stunning meditative ambiguity throughout these rich four minutes that leave you breathless, like a sailor caught beneath the waves.
Another beautiful aspect to this record is the impassioned vocal performance, as Muca notes: “the vocals were recorded twice […] that was the first take. All the arrangements and recordings were built on top of it.” With Fiona Apple and Kate Bush the stimulus for her intonation, La Marquise’s gorgeous voice, it must be said, wouldn’t feel out of place amongst the aforementioned Goliaths. Beginning as a skeleton track, Muca details the writing process as ‘unusual’, purposely layering in the vocals post instrumentation; the result? A tempestuous and fervent portrayal of heartbreak that encumbers both the meditative and and self-destructive emotions that follow.
When it comes to this dynamic duo’s use of purgative flavourings, Cheap Red Wine has expensive taste. But perhaps what’s most appealing however is their beautiful resolve in the face of sorrow, fighting against the shame that a less than ideal reaction results in. Despite its title, this record is anything but cheap, and entirely worth your precious time.