One of the great things about Rock music, particularly the current evolution of it, is it's elasticity and it's inherent ability to create new and emerging styles. One of those styles is the fairly recent New Cabaret Rock. Pioneered by the likes of The Dresden Dolls, and Nicki Jaine, and furthered by Black Tape for a Blue Girl, New Cabaret Rock is a unique and engaging theatrical kind of music patterned upon the cabaret of many decades ago. The shadows that surround the style exist from the decadence that is synonymous with the original style.
Along comes Rykarda Parasol of San Francisco and the style gains more prominence. Indeed, the style is only for the adventurous. It's prominent piano and it's easily distinguished vocal styling is it's hallmark, it's lyrics a mirror of the revelling of the darker side of humanity. But if you can venture beyond the safety of well-attended concert arenas, and into the hidden basement bars then you can bathe in the freshness of something intriguingly Rock 'n Roll and yet ancient as many passed hallways of time.
For Blood and Wine is the new new album by Rykarda Parasol. Its 16 tracks offer an immersion within the New Cabaret Rock, and does it well. Rock's first introduction to such music came via the voice of Nico as she provided Velvet Underground with a new depth that changed them in a strong but wonderful way.
The songs are all well-crafted and genuine. The first track has a hint of gospel as it delicately leads you into the underground of the album during it's short one-minute prelude to "Spell on Me," the second song even as it is the first to fully engage you within it's style. The album's tracks visit ballads as easily as it wraps it's fingers around the throat of high volume Rock 'n Roll.
Rykarda's vocal style is true to the original Cabaret 'voice' much as Nicki Jaine's (whose own voice adds in the smoky deepness that Nico naturally employed.) Even so, on "A Drinking Song," she carries a familar Patti Smith-like vocal quality on one of the album's strongest tracks, one that hints at superior music beyond the New Cabaret style she currently uses.
If you're the adventurous type, the pathways that For Blood and Wine leads you through can be exciting. Rykarda Parasol is the talented chanteuse that makes it all a legitimate and thrilling experience. There's only a small handful that can offer this side of Rock experience. You can trust Rykarda Parasol to deliver the genuine goods in complete bohemian effect.