Gillett finds her spark on no roof no floor is by using the most personal instrument she has—her voice.

Review: Scout Gillett – no roof no floor

National Music Reviews

Scout Gillett
no roof no floor

Captured Tracks
Street: 10.28
Scout Gillett = Sharon Van Etten + a slight Kate Bush

It’s hard to find your own spark in a sky full of fireworks. On her new record, no roof no floor, Scout Gillett manages to do just that—she finds her spark. Gillett infuses her songs with indie, folk and country sensibilities, finding room for a touch of the southern gothic sounds.

Gillett finds her spark on no roof no floor by using the most personal instrument she has—her voice. The best example of this is on one of the lead tracks, “slow dancin’.” Gillett juggles this track with vocal inflections that range from slightly above a whisper to the borderlines of a scream. Gillett never lets her voice fall all the way to the extremes, on either side. Some of the vocal gymnastics remind me of the tightrope-walking vocal style of Kate Bush, possessing the same kind of confidence.

Another standout is “444 marcy ave.” Gillett immerses the track with synth pockets and psychedelia and warps it all together into an intricate-sounding, velvety freak show. The song could easily play live on a stage at the Roadhouse in Twin Peaks. Gillett stays in an eerie mood on “crooked,” singing: “Can you forget to feel? Does it always creep? / If you forget to breathe, will it choke you out?” Her vocals escalate at the end, and you can feel it in your blood.

Gillett keeps you on your toes on no roof no floor. On the title track, she sings, “Loving you should be this easy / If we just would believe it.” She then flips the coin on “strangers in silence” with, “Oh, now that I’m free / I finally have room to see / Your love / Your love was blinding me.” The instrumental lets in a banjo and strings that lift the track up. Gillett also lets in a wailing saxophone on the back end of “hush, stay quiet,” and it kills. The singer has a blistering band supporting her on no roof no floor, with multiple musicians showing up on this record. I won’t list them all here, but trust me—everyone completely murders their spots.

Somewhere between the dark, indie glow of Sharon Van Etten and the warped, country reinventions of  Angel Olsen, Scout Gillett has found her space. She crowds every corner of that space and pushes it all the way up to the ceiling. Kind of a lame metaphor for a record called no roof no floor, but I think you get my meaning

Gillett recorded the album in a barn in upstate New York with the doors wide open, which is probably why it has some familiarities—it had already escaped; she let it out before she gave it to us. I love this record. We are already well into November, so I feel safe to say that no roof no floor will have a place in my year-end favorites. –Russ Holsten

Read more from Russ Holsten:
Review: Dry Cleaning – Stumpwork
Review: Scout Island – Laurentian Voyage