‘Mirabilia’ from Whalebone – “... an amalgam of alchemy”(October 01, 2016)
One more time I can see the definition pedants pulling their hair out ... this is music that simply will not fit into a comfortable box. That’s precisely one reason I love it. Difference personified, eclecticism defined and that’s Whalebone’s new album ‘Mirabilia’, due for release in November 2016. Whalebone deliver music that’s sensitively serious, delicately defined, cleverly constructed and utterly original. The blend is marvellously mixed ... rock touching folk, classical caressing tradition, innovation dancing with legacy ... and through ‘Mirabilia’ it presents an amalgam of alchemy.
It’s blindingly evident that these musicians are masters of their art, ‘Mirabilia’ also reveals an interaction between them that makes their music a living, breathing entity. The elemental force is so strong it could almost leave the album and join you in the room. The allure begins with ‘Anglicana’, moves through the enchantment of ‘Momentum’, pulsating energy with ‘Thynge’, to the expressively beautiful ‘Hiraeth’, delightful humour with ‘Mouse 16’ to the drive of ‘Holding Aces’.
Whalebone is the creation of three musicians, who through hybrid musical journeys reached a place where individual paths of musical expression coalesce to engender a creature of unique pedigree. Steve Downs plays acoustic guitar, eight-string baritone guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, classical guitar, slide mandolin, bouzouki and percussion, Charlotte Watson plays acoustic guitar, bouzouki and classical guitar, while Sarah Ibberson plays five-string violin.
‘Mirabilia’ is aurally mouth-watering.
Review: Tim Caroll