‘Of Maids And Mariners’ from Said The Maiden - distinctive voices lacing intricate harmonies(February 07, 2016)
It’s fair to say that without much fear of contradiction that once heard, Said The Maiden are not easily forgotten. And it’s also true that their combination of distinctive voices lacing intricate harmonies through original and traditional songs is supremely addictive. Said The Maiden, who are Jess Distill, Hannah Elizabeth and Kathy Pilkinton, have released a short EP, ‘Of Maids And Mariners’ to follow up their 2014 debut album, ’A Curious Tale’, and in the way of any craving, a small amount is not enough, would there were more. Should anyone remain unaware of their talents, they perform traditional songs from the UK and America, backed by guitar, violin, mandolin, woodwind, accordion, startling percussion and intricate acapella harmonies.
‘Of Maids And Mariners’ features two studio and two live tracks given the Said The Maiden touch. Beginning with a familiar traditional known by many titles and with hundreds of verse variations, they take ‘The Soldier And The Maid’ to new ground. Then the maidens treat their listeners to an acapella version of Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ complete with portentous percussion and engaging handclaps – just delightful. From there they offer two live recordings – a haunting take on Paul and Liz Davenport’s strange tale ‘Spring Tide Rising’, and a rousing romp complete with potent percussion and a huge dose of humour ‘Polly Can You Swim?’ their own female-dressed-as-a-man narrative.
The maxim of ‘a successful EP must leave you wanting more’ applies just as one would expect. And hopefully for anyone hooked on their unique sound, Said The Maiden will follow with a new album soon. Find band and EP here: www.saidthemaiden.co.uk
Review: Tim Carroll