Dilly Dilly is the solo endeavour of Cerberus Shoal bassist and vocalist Erin Olivia Davidson. The music featured on this CD-EP displays some simple acoustic arrangements which underline the simple beauty of the songs.
Accompanying herself on ukulele, Erin mainly uses her voice to weave her delicate melodies around the listener, while a very soft echo is used throughout this recording to envelop every sound which undoubtedly adds to the nostalgic quality of the songs.
Actually, there is a distinct, melancholic flavour to them which kind of reminds me of Angelo Badalamenti?s music in its more romantic moments (?Rival?, ?Daisy A Day? ? the latter recalling some of the songs he wrote for Marianne Faithfull a few years ago). However, one should point out that these aspects already corresponded to Mr. B.?s own dreamlike reinterpretation of a whole section of American music from the 1950s and 1960s. No doubt, Davidson?s songs enjoy treading a similar path as it gracefully fuses together different styles and eras of music ? the results often reviving half-forgotten memories of old waltzes and tunes.
Yet, I tend to feel that there is something missing in her songwriting, the figure in the carpet that ties the work together, if I may say. Maybe it?s because the album is short (23 minutes long) or because the arrangements are so sparse, it?s impossible to tell.
A way to circumvent all this may be to suggest that this is all part of the elusive charm behind this music. Then, I can only recommend you check it out for yourself, see how you may relate to it since there is an undeniable beauty to this album. Personally, something tells me that I may very well come back to it more often than I thought I would in the first place, simply because some of the melodies that are being heard here truly have their ways of getting under your skin whether you want it or not.
Finally, a special mention should be made of the beautiful screen printed sleeve (courtesy of Colleen Kinsella), the front cover of which features an actual self-portrait of the artist. 7/10 -- Francois Hubert (6 February, 2007)