So many caveats, so little space. Let’s begin with what’s usually covered in this Rats on the Run slice of the of the internet; left leaning punk tilted scuzzed dreamscape agro-angst from DIY bedrooms and dust laden synths out of lost spit-dust corners of Europe. Throw in glammed up electro and Russian revival and we’re still country miles from the full list. I guess what I’m snakingly getting at, is I never thought this song would feature. This might be my shortest review.
Linda Pagnini’s voice.
Is fucking incredible.
It cracks when it reaches. It strains when it howls. It stretches and turns and with a full bodied husk, now I feel like I’m writing up whisky. It bellows, it curls, she’s got Nancy’s sweetness and Lee Hazelwood’s gruff with the haunt-rasp of Marianne Faithful. There are times in this song where she rips the earth out from under her feet in a bid to get higher and louder, where my scalp might have pushed down a tingle.
As for that protracted caveat, well ‘Hand In Mine’ fits none of those. Consider the song and its slushed ¾ waltz just the background for Linda’s expression. All the AOR noodling and lush backing string sounds have been wisely sent straight to background. This is pop adult ballad wet papier-mâché but I forgive every formula trick. All because of Linda Pagnini. Every gram that she gives is split half heart, half soul and she’s begging for better surroundings.
There’s more I want to know about this voice’s owner, there’s a story, a past and a history. So let’s think of this as a brief introduction while I try my best to dig further.