Without Apology – A Review by Dominique Sherter

Without Apology Review by Dominique Sherter

If I were called upon to distil my visceral response to Girl From Winter Jargon, it would be “me too.”
Without Apology,‘ drags me, at my late age and pushes me back in time, into inner writhings that I’d rather forget; back through all those feelings of both desiring and loving someone enough to both adore them and wish them into non-existence – enough to want to put it on some kind of flag.

I think we’re at a point, as women, in the midst of the turmoil of many people not just wanting, but needing to express their experiences and emotions about love, loss, desire, fear – that it all begs the question of what it is to be a woman. Maybe the better question is: what’s the best way of being a human?

One definite answer would be to pack everything you feel – longing, love, shame, rage, wonder – all in one little package of art.
But it’s not enough to belch it out – we’re all numb from too much entertainment and too much music – it has to be a Jewel box of a song – a Jewel box loaded with a jack-knife instead of a ballerina – a voice that carries you into experiences of pain you’d rather forget, but so beautifully – that you’re forced to listen.

I might forget that my spirit bears such strange-fruit if not for the rich, natural, but tortured swoop of Rachel’s voice; the unforced rubato insistence; the hard, ringing bell-strokes of her guitar.
I hear music-hall by way of mid-Beatles and French chansons… and I hear Elvis Costello in the passion.
The production is so clean, and controlled and self assured – as are the vocals and instrumentation – this is very self assured work and it sounds very deliberate.
The unravelling of the chord progressions are so musically addictive that I can’t help but want to stay for another resolution.
The ferocity and infallibility of the rhythmic pulse which anchors this English-folk-tune-drenched composition seems to carry me by the scruff of my neck, and thrill, like her voice, at some level which is completely beyond analysis of the lyrics.

This is what art is – it buffets you, and pains in a way that leaves you both wrung, and somewhat bruised, but also grateful, and wanting more – like love itself – even hard love.

Dominique Sherter – Daughter of French Concert Pianist – Annie Marchand Sherter (1935-2015)