Abi Wade is a cellist from Brighton, which is signed to Love Thy Neighbour Records, a new label recently started by Esben & the Witch. The And Blood and Air EP is not particularly the showcase for a cellist. Instead, it is a quartet of songs from a moody singer/songwriter.

Curiously, these songs are quite rhythmic. The cello is used almost like a rhythm guitar or an insistent bass, rather than any bowed thing. Wade sings with a mysterious voice, which falls someplace between Siouxsie Sioux and Ani DeFranco. The one primary exception is the angry “Perfect Form,” which finds Wade putting bow to strings in quite the ominous manner.

The lyrics to these songs find Wade sounding particularly vulnerable. During “Stability,” for instance, Wade can be heard repeating the word ‘sorry’ over and over again. Ironically, the track “Hope” has a vocal chorus that brings to mind Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love,” even though it couldn’t be any further – emotionally speaking – from that pivotal disco hit.

Sonically, this is one of most musically economic recordings to come along in a long time. In most cases, there isn’t much more than Wade’s cello, a little percussion and that haunting voice. If Wade is this blunt honest in her songs, one can only imagine what the woman is like in real life. Heaven help any man that is in a relationship with her. When she says, ‘We need to talk,’ he would best catch the next train anywhere.

When evaluating any EP from a new artist, the verdict either falls on the side of ‘I’ve had enough,’ or ‘Please put more on my plate.’ And Blood and Air easily fits into the ‘Please put more on my plate’ category. We can’t wait to hear what this psycho cellist has for us next.