Ali­son O’Don­nell

Climb Sheer The Fields Of Peace

Mojo (UK) - - News - Kieron Tyler


Ir­ish folk veteran favours am­biance over genre tropes.

As Climb Sheer The Fields Of Peace be­gins, the Nico of The Mar­ble In­dex and Desertshore springs to mind. Al­though O’Don­nell’s voice is warm rather than doomy and deep, her songs are un­der­pinned by sparse ac­com­pa­ni­ment from pump or­gan and a Suzuki Om­ni­chord. When acous­tic gui­tar, ana­logue synth tonal wash, brass, per­cus­sion and other voices ar­rive as colour, the com­par­i­son lingers. Ire­land’s O’Don­nell was a founder of folk ti­tans Mel­low Can­dle and this, by de­fault, is a folk al­bum. How­ever, over the past decade and fol­low­ing a lengthy hia­tus from mu­sic, she has col­lab­o­rated ex­ten­sively with the bound­ary-push­ing United Bi­ble Stud­ies. Ac­cord­ingly, the John Mar­tyn/ Vashti-es­que The Road We Know – as close to singer­song­writer folk as it gets – is bal­anced against al­bum opener Sylvia’s Dead­bolt’s sepul­chral ru­mi­na­tion on karmic frag­men­ta­tion. Mu­si­cal def­i­ni­tions are ren­dered ir­rel­e­vant. Move fast, the vinyl edi­tion is lim­ited to 250 copies.

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