‘Long Garden’ - Crooked Weather - textures of sound entwined with shadowy vocal meanderings(September 08, 2014)
This album evoked a time in the early alt-folk years when we were prone to sitting in candle-lit rooms, windows draped in coloured material, writhing fingers of smoke floating on the air filling it with strange scents, while softly ethereal music wafted around our ears. Those days, at least those I can recall, are fading memories. Listening to ‘Long Garden’ from Crooked Weather took me back, it also revealed an interesting album.
‘Long Garden’ conjures textures of sound entwined with shadowy vocal meanderings to create a wide, spatial feel, combined with a freshness and earthbound stability pervading the songs. There’s no invocation of forest spirits or spectral meanderings here. The vocals are definitely real-world, examining experiences with both a reflective echo through a back catalogue of familiarity and forward-looking future revelations. With an expansive alt-folk edge Crooked Weather deliver a singular sound that steadily involves - the understanding of the title track ‘Long Garden’ harks back to the learning incidents of youth, the poetic imagery of ‘Red Lead Rose’ takes over with its eloquent reverie, while the harder narrative of‘#10’ takes on an altogether more insistent tone.
While listening I kept returning to the impression of ‘iron fist in velvet glove’ – hard-message lyrics delivered through an eerie wash of vocals allied to multi-instrumental breaks and swooping melodies interspersed with attention grabbing guitar cuts and percussive injections. And while you’re there, take in the presence of‘Blood On The Tracks’ or ‘Chipotle’ to get the measure of the music, and don’t forget to immerse yourself in ‘When Will I See You Again’ for a taste of what old alt-folkies relish, or maybe what they are able to remember.
Find your way there from here: ww.crookedweather.com
Reviewer: Tim Carroll