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MELLOW CANDLE Swaddling Songs Esoteric (2008)

Mellow Candle

Folk that rocked, evidenced by Fairport, Trees, Steeleye and the like, was lifting nicely when this came out in 1972, so it remains baffling as to why 'Swaddling Songs' didn't take off.

With successful progressive / psych undercurrents, it is distinguished by a twin-female vocal attack of biting pitch and sustainedly excellent harmonising driven by twitchy instrumentation with baroque flourishes. Perhaps it's the relative absence of metaphorical sunshine. Eschewing hippy 'hello skies, hello clouds' whimsy, the Dublin-based band's strong and original material dipped into pagan pastorality evoking more the blasted heath than the sun-kissed riverbank.

Produced for Decca's progressive subsidiary Deram by David Hitchcock, this died a death on release and snuffed out Mellow Candle. Hindsight rightly favours it as one of the finest of the genre. Buy now, bring matches.


Review by Peter Muir

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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