It took the new The Moon and the Nightspirits‘ record a while before it reached my CD player. Already released in June of this year it almost got lost in the stream of releases that were coming out this fall. Almost but not quite, and that is a good thing because Aether swept me off my feet from the very first note I heard. This is the best album I’ve heard this year. and that with stiff competition from bands like M’anam, Jyoti Verhoeff, Priscilla Hernandez, Rachel Croft, Grumpy O sheep, Gói, and Irdorath. (what a musical year it has been.) With Aether, The Moon and the Nightspirit wanted to add a certain ‘masculinity’ into their sound and the result is a gothic/medieval pagan folk CD that just blew me away. Now you could follow the link and have a read what I find so special about this new album – (and it would be highly appreciated by yours truly) – but really, if you love the music of Dead Can Dance, Shireen, Cranes, and of course The Moon and the Nightspirit themselves, don’t be bothered; just buy the record; put it on; get yourself a headphone; a chair; and vanish in this beautiful masterpiece.
Only 6 months after calling a temporary halt of activity, Finvarra returns with a beautiful Christmas album. Only available as a digital download; Lutesongs for Christmas is a lovely EP filled with traditional Christmas songs. The songs are played on old antique instruments, Lutes, harpsichord, pump organ, baroque guitar, but connect with a modern audience as only Finvarra can. ‘We wanted to give our fans a warm embrace of comforting Christmas music.‘ According to Patrick Broekema. ‘For us the ultimate Christmas music was made in the Renaissance period. They made lovely songs accompanied by lute, but also beautiful Christmas carols sang by choirs. We wanted to take those songs and make a romantic, slightly classical album that still is 100% Finvarra.‘ Did the band achieve that? Only one way to find out. Buy the album yourself, or follow the link and read all about this wonderful new Finvarra album: Lutesongs for Christmas.
The holidays are coming and with it, a stream of folk albums are coming out, including two lovely Christmas records. The first one is called Wassail, Wassail! and is recorded by Imbue. Last year Imbue were asked to perform at a Dickens Christmas Fair, and the experience led them to venture out of their normal medieval/Renassaince repertoire, into the magical sounds of Victorian Christmas Carols. And what a treat Wassail Wassail! has become. The perfect gift to put under the Christmas Tree, or better yet, in it as the old Victorians did. In the tree? Yes, up till then the idea of giving gifts to each other was something you did on New Year, but in Victorian times it shifted towards Christmas, small gifts were hung in the tree; which was further decorated with dried fruit, candies in wrappers, cookies, nuts, strands of popcorn or cranberries and the odd tin and leather Christmas decoration. Well, as we see it Wassail, Wassail! would be the perfect Christmas decoration/present, but of course you COULD go Victorian all the way, in which case you would hire in the Carol singers themselves and give them Wassail punch! it is ALL up to you. So here is that all-important link to read all about Wassail, Wassail! And furthermore? Merry Christmas!
X-mas is quickly approaching and in the coming weeks, we will be introducing 3 albums that would look great under the Christmas tree. CD’s filled to the brim with good cheer, a lot of love, and plenty of Christmas feeling. We start off with a true stunner: Hope is The Thing With Feathers by The Castlefest Collective. Way back in March, when corona started reaping havoc, not only on people’s health but also on the whole music industry, a group of artists from our pagan/fantasy folk scene came together to share tips and idea’s to deal with the new situation. It started out rather practical, but artists wouldn’t be artists if music didn’t pop-up its head sooner or later. And sure enough it did. Guitar riffs became musical ideas, pieces of text became lyrics, and soon enough the first song was born called Hope Is The Thing With Feathers. But it didn’t stop there. Eight songs were born like that in the end, and they all found their way on a lovely album. Just as the single it is called Hope Is The Thing With Feathers and the group named themselves The Castlefest Collective. I’ve been listening to this album for about 2 weeks now, and it really grew on me. Hopefully, the album WILL find its way to your Christmas tree and it will captivate you as much as it did me. For more info, just click.