The original intention was to come at this album purely from a musical perspective – explore, discuss, opine just the musical factors that are found within it. But however hard you try to detach cause from result, it becomes an impossible task. Not only does the enormity of the events that sit behind this collection of songs float above the whole project, the very idea of the land, the natural world and an intangible primal force runs through the very essence of these songs, lyrically for sure but also through the music.
It would have been very easy for the compilers to play an obvious card at this point, to collect songs and sounds which served existing preconceptions, which tugged at heartstrings and which delivered a bag of cultural clichés and rose-tinted nostalgia. What is so clever about this collection is that whilst evoking the primal sounds and ancient, elemental spirit which is at the heart of the album, it is still wonderfully diverse, fantastically contemporary and rather than look back over it’s shoulder, is instead staring towards new horizons. Music thatperfectly captures the enduring, cyclical and timeless nature of the issues being promoted here.
I’ll start with Tallulah Rendall as she is the only artist I was previously aware of, but is also the perfect embodiment of an ancient concept being channelled through a modern form. With a blend of 60’s folk revival and modern chilled, pop balladry her message is one of change being the result of a multitude of small, personal shifts in attitude and outlook to realize one new, bigger cultural revision.
And if that is a wonderful central hub for the album to spin on, what circles it is an eclectic and myriad take on the same positivity. Karen Woods delivers a haunting, tribal – celtic jig, Murray Kyle takes a traditional protest song route and Martha Tilston takes us down some pulsing, haunting and sonorous pathways. Elsewhere there is room for emotive instrumentals and lyrical poignancy, bucolic haziness and rousing standards, music that evokes a place and songs that are universal.
This is an album that also resonates through a bigger picture, a picture which captures a vastly changing world, one where freedoms are being eroded, laws and justices rewritten for the gain of the few, one where the love of money is indeed the root of evil, an evil that is cashing in the natural world, for a quick turn around, selling the very stuff of existence as if they somehow owned it. Not only the water of life but the earth, our fellow inhabitants and the very air we breathe. Step beyond Standing Rock and you should see this album as a rallying point for what is to follow, a sound track to an awakening of ideas and that this may be just the tip of a fast eroding iceberg.
To listen to, support and purchase the album go HERE