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First Look: 8mm - Opener EP
by S. Zekovitch

“Picture-Perfect-Paperdoll”

8 Millimeter is an acronym that is often used to describe a camera and film format, but in this case 8mm is more than just a mediocre snapshot, in lieu this title perfectly suits the haunting, yet ethereal atmospheric mood Juliette Beavan paints. With Juliette’s serpentining vocals writhing the mike, she is also accompanied by her husband. It is almost impossible to miss the distinct touches of Sean’s stellar guitar chiseling solos ( also best known for producing Kill Hannah, Kidneythieves, Nine Inch Nails, and Marilyn Manson). With strikingly positive responses from her collaboration with  Kill Hannah on their For Never and Ever album, it helped coruscate her musical career, in which led the Beavans to undertake an experimental project that would eventually go on to receive raving responses. 
                        
Rooted in New Orleans, the home of jazz heritage and the breeding ground for music genres of sorts, it was here, where Sean Beavan fell head over heels for his beloved Juliette and their musical tastes and ideologies began to fuse rapidly like wildfire. As Trent Reznor’s longtime friend, engineer, co-producer, and musical director  Sean was responsible for greatly influencing NIN’s propulsive sound; their unique electronic-industrial sounds transfixed their signature nihilistic lyrics with razor edged rhythms, and there you have a brilliant combination if not flesh friendly. After migrating to Los Angeles the rest was history and a new chapter of Sean and Juliette’s life began to unravel. 
                         
The Beavans not only observed it as a great opportunity to allow Juliette to freely express her art vocally, but also visually. Reminiscent of an ancient Chinese proverb, “one picture is worth ten thousand words.”  At first glance at the cover art, it alluded my preconceived notions of a very exotic film noir, starring Juliette with femme fatale written all over her. Perhaps black and white photos suggest more poignant statements than colored ones in that it they leave a taste of nostalgia in our mouths. It’s as if she possesses multiple personalities.  Enigmatic as it is, she appears to be seductively angelic, yet domineering and yearning to be filled with affections, somewhat of a vicarious ride you could imagine, but insinuated in her lyrics. On another note, every time the word “femme fatale” comes up in any topic of discussion I often find myself humming to The Velvet Underground’s “femme fatale” featuring Nico on vocals. Not only is  it a very catchy song, but it demonstrates the femme fatale’s role in a film noir, generally being an idiosyncratic feminist who is in touch with the dark side of  human nature. Juliette portraying herself persuasively as one and thus allowing the observer to understand  her character succinctly, in that she is a very independent and a modern-day expressionist.
                           
Physically Juliette is what you call an uncommonly photogenic siren, who defines her beauty as a minimalist, yet captivating. However don’t let her shell fool you, her talent shines through this EP. So you practically killed two birds with one stone. On the album her opening track, titled “Opener” perfectly sets the mood for us to expect a solemnly smoke-filled backdrop with a scent of facade looming here and there, perhaps in tribute to a Baudelaire novel if possible. As I perch on my doorstep with my headphones on I get the feeling of uncertainty embracing me. The music is pretty mellow, but the lyrics are melancholic and even lustfully self-indulgent on certain occasions, especially evident on the track “Crawl”.  A sensuous monologue is clearly expressed as she softly speaks as the music plays, “I run my fingers along the shape of the phone searching out every seam and crevice looking for a way in.” Brilliant and  very early Garbagesque inspired. Even though Juliette’s voice doesn’t exactly sound like Shirley Manson, it gives off an air that they both share somewhat of a parallel style lyrically speaking. Masochistic at times but complaisant on others. It’s as if these songs suggest a woman making a plea to feel complete again. Whether it is sexually or emotionally you can determine that on your own. 
                                 
Unlike the rest of track off the album “I’ve Got Nothing Left to Lose” seems to be unique in its own way. It contains a portion being done sophisticatedly in rap, when I mean sophisticated it’s not like most clichéd rap songs about bling bling. It begins with a delicate repetitive beat that is eventually complimented with a man rapping, “I thought I was a trivia question never fit to be asked/ I’ve given away my fork and spoon, but kept my knife for inspiration.” I could go on trying to explain all the lyrics in detail, but for you to completely  grasp the feel of the music I would recommend listening to it for yourself than taking my word. This albums defines a stack of contradictions rolled into one, dealing with scars and internal turmoil flustered with a lovesick spells. If are into Portishead and Garbage you will definitely love 8mm.


CD Info 

8mm - Opener EP
Rating

Visit the Official website and listen to the entire EP, learn more about 8MM and Purchase the EP.

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