Self-titled release from Elfin Bow - a countrified idyll with ominous essence(February 03, 2017)
The press release states: ‘... pastoral psych-folk’ and ‘... 21st century folk’, I tend to agree with the former but I remain uncertain what the latter is supposed to mean. If intended to imply a contemporary edge then maybe, but there’s a host of ancient elements and themes at work. There’s definitely a bucolic, somewhat rustic flavour to the self-titled release from Elfin Bow (aka Elizabeth Ann Jones) however that’s not to say that it is by any means parochial. The carefully constructed folk presence brings into play otherworldly narrative, melancholy reminiscences, dark tales and revealed hope - the 21st century reference, I guess pulls in slight touches of folk pop however the overall feel is of a countrified idyll with ominous essence.
Looking for the folk elements you’ll find ‘The First Red Leaf Of Autumn’, a rockier folk pulse comes through ‘Sweet Jonathan’ whereas ‘Daffadilly Down’ hones the psych folk edge, as does ‘Bull of The Freeway’, while the darker folk sound comes through ‘Grimshaw and the Fingerclaw’ and ‘Edith's Song’ and the chant-like ‘Holler in the Hollows’. The fragile feel to the vocals and the music is partly illusion because there’s real strength and depth here, both vocally and instrumentally. This is an album that benefits from repeated replay because the closer you get the more it delivers.
Elfin Bow is doubtless one of those proponents of folk that has a long way to go and this album is as good a signpost as you could expect.
Review: Charlie Elland