Sealionwoman is Kitty Whitelaw and Tye McGivern – a musical partnership born from the cacophonous jazz-racket of Kitty and the Drowning Bag, a London-based power-trio featuring John Tillyer on drums. Their first incarnation fell dormant when Kitty ran off to join the circus in Singapore, but Kitty and Tye were reunited for a one-off performance in 2011. Galvanised by the response, they have reformed, relocated to the city and revamped their sound. The duo now coaxes a brooding narcotic fugue from processed contrabass and laptop, mixing amped-up jazz standards with stripped down versions of their early classics.
“Sealionwoman deal in blurred versions of jazz and torch, and they’re perfectly suited to the smear of dusk that’s coming on as they begin to play. As influences, they’ll cite the crepuscular – Nick Cave and Morphine – but also cite the vivid, iconoclastic enactments and reinterpretations of jazz songs as carried off by Mina Agossi. There’s something in that. While they deal with plenty of old jazz standards – passed from hand to hand, worn smooth like wooden heirlooms – Sealionwoman share a trace of that Agossi rebellion against jazz performance manners and form, preferring to draw out song essence and perhaps a thread of history along with it.” – Misfit City