NPR logo First Listen: Ebony Bones, 'Behold, A Pale Horse'

First Listen: Ebony Bones, 'Behold, A Pale Horse'

Behold, A Pale Horse (The Symphony Orchestra Of India)

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Ebony Bones' new album, Behold, A Pale Horse, comes out August 5. Tim Bret-Day/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Tim Bret-Day/Courtesy of the artist

Ebony Bones' new album, Behold, A Pale Horse, comes out August 5.

Tim Bret-Day/Courtesy of the artist

British singer-songwriter and producer Ebony Bones is a bold, explosive artist who's unafraid to let her freak flag fly. Her frenetic mix of soul, art-pop, rock and punk feels immediate and rootless; it could soundtrack any cityscape around the world. It makes sense that the theatrical performer spent time touring with her artistic kin Cee Lo Green.

Ebony Bones' second album — Behold, A Pale Horse, out August 5 — has a harder sound compared to the electronic tinge of her debut. The vocals in "Mystery Babylon" whine with the best punk-rock intentions, and there's some mean guitar shredding on "New World Blues." But what continues to stand out about Ebony Bones is that she's her own producer: The record is as much about the production as the performance. You can hear it in the meticulous sonic groove of "Bread & Circus" and the standout track "I See I Say." She even takes a backseat to the New London Children's Choir in a playful cover of The Smiths' "What Difference Does It Make." Whether on stage or in the studio, she's set to be a major player for years to come.

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