‘Devils’ the debut album from Apple of my Eye.(October 25, 2012)
There’s an elemental vagueness, a faint fragility and odd incongruity coupled with an unsettling uncertainty about ‘Devils’ the debut album from Apple of my Eye. This is a collection of strange ethereal folk tales that combine curious expressions of love and faintly anachronous morals with sedately mournful longing plus a warning of meddling with evil spirits. Some albums are hook-filled and crammed with instantly memorable songs – by contrast this album needs time to grow on you because the songs with their delicious harmonies take time to work their spell.
There’s the narrative of ‘Jenny’, a dark and desperate tale complete with growling main-character vocals and seething violin. From its initial soft-edged chant ‘Willow’ breaks away and moves into a faster multilayered melange of insistent instruments and vivacious vocals. These are more than songs sung to tunes. The texture is seamless. Throughout, there’s an unvarying, symbiotic fusion as vocals and instruments feed off each other to create songs with space and depth.
The title song ‘Devils’ is a cautionary tale of wishing for what you may not have and the often less-than-wished-for outcomes, especially when dealing with the devil. The quick-fire, convoluted vocals of ‘Bristol’ move it beyond a longing for home to a frantic homage to origins, complete with an inundation of backing vocals. With this album the intertwining of voice, music and elaborate tales demands your attention – ‘music in the car’ this is not; however, it is most definitely ‘sit and absorb’ music.
Apple of my Eye are Phil Cornwell (double bass, vocals) Arran Glass (guitar, vocals) Kit Massey (violin, vocals) Chris Rusbridge (bouzouki, vocals) Ellie Rose Rusbridge (vocals) and Alex Scott (mandolin, guitar) plus Dan Rusbridge (harmonica).
Reviewer: Tim Carroll