Sunday, 23 December 2012

Meg Baird - Seasons On Earth

Second solo album from founder member of Espers. A master-class of intimate and timeless, acoustic folk.

Philadelphia based songstress and founder member of psych-folkers Espers, Meg Baird releases her 2nd solo album Seasons On Earth. As the title suggests there's a back to nature feel to this collection of intimate folk based songs, with song titles including Stream, The Land Turned Over, Even Rain and Stars Climb Up The Vine. Unaffected by current musical fashions, the closest reference points are the Brit-led folk boom of the 1960's, Sandy Denny, Pentangle, and Island Records' 70's folk output. That's not to say it's nostalgic or an exercise in faux retro acid-folk, it's anything but; there's a authentic timelessness to the record, perhaps due in part to the fact that her family has deep roots in American folk music.

The acoustic guitar playing is confident and intricate, with autumnal open tunings that Nick Drake would be proud of. There's a feeling that any number of the eight original compositions on here could become standards such is the strength of the songwriting. Added to this are two interesting choices of covers. The first being a sublime reading of Mark Almond Band's Friends, the second being The House Of Love's Beatles And The Stones. (I never did understand the line about putting the V in Vietnam but it doesn't seem to matter here). Though overall the record has a sparse sound there are added instrumental embellishments of parsimonious electric guitar, harp and tasteful pedal steel. A perfect listen as the autumn nights draw in.

Click here for Meg Baird's website.