Out of just voices, guitars, strings, and creative brilliance, Cricket Blue fashions strikingly original and intelligent songs. Transcendent harmonies, elegant finger-picking, and bold juxtapositions of tempo are all handled masterfully. Beautifully and meaningfully, they flat out defy being categorized simply as “folk” music.
Traditional Aussie folk songs are treated to sumptuous reinventions. Jenny M. Thomas' virtuosic violin and sensuous vocals swing rapturously alongside double bass, drumkit, and string quartet. The production throughout is rich, clean, and modern.
These songs simultaneously seem both brand new and yet deeply familiar. A delightful effect!
Vashon Island, where these songs come from, lies only 15 miles from Bainbridge Island, where I live. Though rich in forests, farms and wild beaches, only once in 40 years have I taken the long, circuitous drive and ferry ride to get there.
Still, it beckons from across gray waters, a vague form on the southern horizon. A familiar enigma. A poignant memory of future possibility.
A lovely thematic suite that just keeps getting richer and more nuanced with each listening. Each short piece brims with color and intricacy, beautifully showcased by the warm and intimate recording.
The namesake bird species are persuasively evoked – swirling murmurations of starlings; a playful and exuberant raven; the elegant, wistful curlew, driven by the wind; and a soaring kite drifting effortlessly in summer skies.
How was I in Seattle in the 90's, smoking a lot of pot, and hanging out with people who were fanatical about (then) hip music, and somehow miss this group?!
Unabashedly melodic songwriting, awash in organ and chiming guitars. Probably closest to The Rain Parade, but sometimes leaning toward the whimsy of The Dukes of Stratosphear. Maybe too, some of Robyn Hitchcock's poppiest, Byrdsian material.
If you're old enough, this collection should induce very pleasant flashbacks.
An elegant, melancholic chamber score that retains a very organic feel despite the addition of many electronic details and recorded sounds. (Including even a gurgling commode.) Surprisingly, the filigree proves integral rather than gratuitous, wending among the somber structures of piano, strings, and a forlorn trumpet.
Reminiscent at times of Pauline Oliveros, Rachel's, O Yuki Conjugate, and Fred Frith – fine company indeed!