‘Mynd’ - Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin - magic and mystery are not far away(August 27, 2013)
As the book said: “The curtain shook and moved aside. I looked and found myself somewhere I did not know but magic and mystery were all around.” That’s pretty much the feeling generated when you listen to‘Mynd’ from Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin. There’s a distinct impression that magic and mystery are not far away. From the first, you find yourself taking a journey through their musical creation into a whimsical world that weaves a spell too seductive to resist. The images and essences are legion - a mix of influences from America’s Deep South to West Bengal, an expanse of time from the immediate stretching back across an ageless landscape, a compass of storytelling and narrative from unsettling occurrence to the whispers of imagination.
The entire album holds your attention as its songs wield an evocative entrancing power. There’s the ethereal, ghostly narrative of ‘Silbury Hill’ - a superb amalgam of hauntingly beautiful voice soothing across a lingering web of strings. There’s an intense and essential quality to the striking presence of ‘The Nailmakers Strike parts I & II’ – laying the weighty lyrics over hypnotic harmonica and percussive strings to add potency to the tale. The eastern-tinged ‘Thirty Miles’ has a hymnal, meditative quality that reflects the questing lyrics, while the deeply moving ‘Last Broadcast’ is a thought provoking, apocalyptic vision that takes you inside a darker edge of reality.
There’s both a tangible and tenuous presence to ‘Mynd’ borne on Philip’s dazzling lap slide techniques, virtuoso Dobro touch and tantalising harmonica combining their expression across a world view of inspiration, while Hannah weaves her idiosyncratic vocals across encapsulating melodies of folklore and legend-filled songs.
Reviewer: Tim Carroll