WILL SERGEANT, PRODUCER OF EVA PETERSEN’S DEBUT EMERALD GREEN EYES, DESCRIBES HER AS “THE GREATEST VOICE TO COME OUT LIVERPOOL IN THE 21ST CENTURY”. THE ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN GUITARIST MAY WELL BE RIGHT.
Fronting mid-noughties also-ran indie band The Little Flames (from the ashes of which Miles Kane has also risen, Phoenix-like) Petersen often sounded assured – but across this vaguely Gothic solo outing her voice attains a newly dramatic wholeheartedness. It’s both tender and meaty – Siouxsie Sioux must be turning in her gravy.
There’s something of the rouge velvet picturedrome about this album where, during its occasionally psychedelic 33 minutes (a perfectly trim eight songs), Petersen’s 1960s technicolour soul vocals are pitted against Sergeant’s sinister and darkly filmic touches.
SUNDAY LOVE AFFAIR feels like the soundtrack to a montage from some mid-period Hammer Horror shot in Portmeirion, while Petersen manages to cover The Velvet Underground & Nico’s FEMME FATALE and have it sound like some hitherto undiscovered and utterly haunting Dusty Springfield outtake. The sublime DON’T BE SHY parallels that moment of wonder.
EMERALD GREEN EYES plays out with the engulfing MELODY, Sergeant’s wall-of-sound directing spectacularly widescreen magic around the cinematic ambition. But, ultimately – and as it should be – it’s the concentrated star power of Petersen’s voice at the centre of the picture which lingers when the lights come up.