Margot Day - "Sacred!"
by Dan Century
Photos by Victoria Zolnoski
Vermont - land of snow, crunchy hippie
entrepreneur types, Subarus, maple syrup and Margot Day. My question is: why
does Margot choose to live in, of all places, Vermont? Why would Margot forsake
the Manhattan life style that fueled her early career? Vermont is an OK place I
guess - it's quiet, simple, with lots of down to earth, creative people, a few
legendary electronic bands (Hexdump, Syntax Error) and lots of nature. I could
see using Vermont as an escape, but not as a place to foster a career as a wild
gothic rock star.
I guess the key to understanding Margot and her music is
she likes to do her own thing - let me tell you, it's pretty scary.
Imagine the Wicked Witch of the East on angel dust singing pirate songs. Image
a whole CD of that. There's not a moment of this disc that I'm not waiting for
the winged monkeys to come flying through my window. To quote Wicked &
Wise: "there's no rest for the wicked and the wise," well there's no rest
for the listener either. I dare you to listen to this disc and try to
concentrate on something else - it's impossible. Margot's nursery rhyme
melodies and manic good girl / bad witch persona demand your full attention,
and possibly at the cost of your sanity.
OK, before the flying
chimpanzees break through my door and scalp me, let me say a few positive words
about Sacred! Margot has an incredible voice, comparable to a Kate Bush,
sure, but it's more like a Bernadette Peters or some other Broadway actress.
Margot's vocals are more theatre than pop (or gothic-industrial or
whatever label makes you comfortable). What Margot does, after all, is theatre
- acting, illusion, performance, smoke and mirrors.
The music on Scared is what you would expect: programmed,
samples, beats and keyboards; and a little guitar. Margot doesn't stick to one
sound, borrowing ideas from techno, NYC noise, classical, nursery rhymes,
theatre and video games, which suits her manic / theatric style well. Fans of
slower electronic music, especially pre '92 stuff, will find plenty to enjoy.
Compared to other electronic music out today Sacred! is unique - it
actually supports the vocals in tone, rhythm and melody, unlike a lot of bands
that just sing over techno or noise or need guitars to provide a melody.
Margot's music is low-fi, gritty and natural, like the music for Neptune
- real chunky and guttural like a Wiseblood or Foetus tune.
For the most part Margot is a little too spooky and manic
for me, but I'm sure plenty of Legends' readers would enjoy her (she should get
some RealAudio up on the Web site). I have to go...I hear wings flapping
outside my window.
Craftsbury, VT 05826