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The NYC-based group Basque is a duo made up of Maryasque on vocals and Brandt on bass. It’s very open, airy music, with lots of silence written into the tracks. Maryasque has a beautiful, strident voice, highly reminiscent to Sinead O’Connors’. She slurs and mangles her lyrics until they don’t quite sound like English—though you can make out bits and pieces. It’s a technique that’s closer in spirit to Rickie Lee Jones than to Liz Fraser. Brandt’s bass-playing is incredibly expressive; he bends and twists the notes, pounds percussively on the instrument, creating evocative shades of sound. The songs are precise and haunting—I couldn’t get the song ‘Swollen Stranger’ out of my head for days. Basque sounds like a cross between Tuck and Patti and Hugo Largo, with a bit of Low thrown in for good measure.