FolkWords Reviews

‘Preternatural’ from Moulettes – their most impressive work to date

(April 05, 2016)

There’s something about the bite of salt-filled air and a certain wildness of geography combined with cultural freedom that creates an individualistic, nonconformist attitude to this island’s coastal places and their inhabitants. Brighton, England is no exception, from here the multi-instrumentalists and multiple genre-expanding band ‘Moulettes’ expound their unique moulettes-preternaturalamalgam of progressive, rock-embellished, alternative folk. The latest incarnation is their fourth album ‘Preternatural’ due for release on 27 May 2016 ... and lovers of their expressive musical fusion will be riveted.

In keeping with their crucible of synthesis, the album takes its title from a blending of Latin language roots to forge supernatural with paranormal, otherworldly with unearthly. The uncanny fluidity of enchantment and mysticism this implies makes ‘Preternatural’ particularly relevant to its content of capacious lyrics, complex instrumentation, slicing strings, power percussion and experimental distortion. Divided into two ‘sides’, the album ranges across natural-world phenomena ... Side One opens with the cataclysmic force of ‘Behemoth’ moves through the splendour of ‘Underwater Painter’ to ‘Pufferfish Love’ before Side Two arrives with ‘Patterns’ morphs with ‘Medusa’ and finally into ‘Silk’. The subjects entertained within its 11 tracks include mystery underwater sounds, bizarre mating rituals, coral reef crises and web-tuning spiders, within which ‘Preternatural’ explores and rejoices.

Much as I abhor comparative descriptions, I keep hearing echoes of early Van Der Graaf Genrator or perhaps imagine the conjuring of a Boschesque aural fantasy-scape. Without doubt, ‘Preternatural’ is the Moulettes most impressive work to date.

The Moulettes are Hannah Miller (lead vocals, cello, guitar) Oliver Austin (drums, guitar, percussion, vocals) Ruth Skipper (co-lead vocals, bassoon, autoharp) Jim Mortimore (bass, vocals) and Raevennan Husbandes (electric guitar, co-lead vocals).

Find the Moulettes and their music here: www.moulettes.co.uk

Review: Tim Carroll

Click here to return to the FolkWords Reviews page