CD Review

Margot Day - "Sacred!"

by Dan Century
Photos by Victoria Zolnoski

Sacred!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.

Margot DayOK, 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.

Future Records
Box 47
NE Kingdom
Craftsbury, VT 05826