Mute continues to add to its impressive stable of artists. Awhile back we featured Apparat, and now news comes down the pipe that Beth Jeans Houghton is the label’s newest signee. After releasing material in 2008 and 2009 to plenty of critical acclaim, Houghton more or less disappeared from the scene. But her new single “Dodecahedron” — which Houghton said was inspired by a dream — is a warm, glowing composition that showcases both her wonderful voice and the impressive job that she and a group of backing musicians have done fleshing out an idea.
The song almost feels like a collection of mini-movements, with certain pieces fading away and then returning as it makes its way through slightly more than three minutes. There’s lovely symmetry here, with a softspoken intro matching the song’s graceful intro. Strings, chimes, some great baritone backing vocals. Her producer Ben Hillier (Elbow, Blur, Depeche Mode and Doves among his past work) has done well constructing “Dodecahedron” so it sounds like a real composition — ethereal in short bursts, and nicely understated in others.
Oh yes, and a dodecahedron is a three-dimensional shape with 12 regular pentagonal faces. This is the best song with a geometrical allusion I’ve heard in some time. Okay, it might be the only one I’ve heard in some time. Houghton’s album is set to be released this Fall.