Friday, August 14, 2015

Recording: Mermaids

Artist: Mermaids

Songs: Trimdon Grange [composer: Tommy Armstrong] + The Humpback Whale [composer: Harry Robertson]

Recorded at Ratio, August 6, 2015.

Mermaids - Trimdon Grange

Mermaids - The Humpback Whale

No mere folk-revival revivalists, Mermaids surrounds Janet Macpherson's wonderful vocals with layers of drone, warble, and distortion. Experimental folk theorist Martin Arnold's hand is apparent in the arrangements, mixing his banjo with the contrasting guitar styles of Justin Haynes and Stephen Parkinson as well as Ryan Driver's analogue synth burbles. In the mining disaster ballad "Trimdon Grange", the chunka-chunka of the guitars at the outset make the song sound like a rough-hewn second cousin to "Long Black Veil" — but by the time Driver's dissociating synth-wooze joins in it sound more like an invasion of Daleks in ancient time floating upon England's mountains green. Word is that the band is taking a bit of a break for the next while, but keep an ear out for word of a return.

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