Release Date: 12 October 2004
This is an oddly beautiful album - far more engaging than you'd expect of one written in a grey Seattle winter, pondering mortality, Moby Dick and the great sheet of blackened ice after which it's named.
Melodic, slightly skewed folk, it sounds like Sinéad O'Connor channelling Nick Drake on top of a bare mountain, or Cat Power trapped in a little girl's musical jewellery box.
Backed by the roots-rock instruments of her band, the Tortured Souls, plus a large handful of guests adding brass and strings, the songs shift imperceptibly from serene spookiness to Incredible String Band-esque cosmic pastoral; from coffee-house folk to haunting lullabies. The finest, Rapture, deliberates on the death of beauty while namechecking Monet, Virginia Woolf and Kurt Cobain.
- Sylvie Simmons, The Guardian (2004)