Some music is purposefully very general, aiming for mass markets and trying its damnedest to appeal to the widest demographic possible. Other music speaks more specifically, of where it comes from, reflects the people and places which birthed it and has a more heightened appeal to a small but more fanatical audience. Even if you weren’t aware of the Cornish heart that beats within the band, musically you would probably come to the conclusion that The Saving of Cadan is born out of an ancient and dramatic landscape, certainly somewhere loosely within the Celtic fringes.
Which brings us to the next obstacle. See the word Celtic and many people will immediately conjure sonic images of sweeping folk music and Clannad-esque cliches and whilst there are some deft and delicate passages within the music, these are topped and tailed by everything from psychedelia, freak-rock, world music, even hip-hop and trippy electronica. But like folk music, this is story telling writ large, with a central narrative straight out of folklore connecting the various songs.
And it is a mammoth project, even on CD the 21 tracks required two discs, pick it up on vinyl and you get five sides of music! But because of that it has plenty of room to explore, not just the story, which is told in both English and Cornish, though just as often reduced to emotive voice as instrument soundscapes, and most certainly musically.
Arloedhes An Lydn is a slow burning piece that evolves from strange alt-folk to feedback drenched rock to saxophone driven crescendos and finally grunge intensity and if they can do that on one track, imagine the dynamics they are able to employ over the albums entirety. Song of The Lady is early rock and roll colliding with a musical theatre rant, Tonight is a wonderful lucid dream and Worlds Apart a crazed garage rock groover. I could go on…I won’t, there is nothing to be gained by me trying to describe the scope and imagination of this album any further. Best you just go and buy the record and if I haven’t wetted your appetite by now to the idea that something awesomely unique or perhaps uniquely awesome takes place between this album’s covers then I fear that we can no longer be friends.