Scout Niblett

When Emma "Scout" Niblett slinks up to the mike and dribbles the refrain "Everybody needs someone to spell out their name" -- as she does on Kidnapped by Neptune's high point, "Pom Poms" -- it's hard to guess what in the hell she's talking about. She might, of course, be referring to her own pseudonym or the pitfalls of her encroaching fame. Who knows? Since her last disc, 2003's I Am, grabbed the neck hairs and imagination of the indie world, Niblett has been a riddle. Kidnapped, though, succeeds even more than I Am in making her girlish mystique feel intimate instead of aloof. Minimally backed by guitarist Chris Saligoe of Racebannon and drummer Jason Kourkounis of Burning Brides and Hot Snakes, Niblett gnaws and bleeds all over her songs like Bjrk and PJ Harvey dog-fighting over Kurt Cobain's shinbone. But the diary-page whispers of her cryptic confessionals are the truly captivating attributes of Kidnapped, elevating ex-beau woes and new-town blues to the realm of personal, yet universal, mythology.


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