Fuzzy Lights — „Burials“ (July 2nd, 2021)
⊆⊕⊇ Jak se kolem nás mění scénáře, cesty a výsledky, amalgám „Burials“ se skví svou zářící, intenzivní instrumentací, nadčasovými, beztížnými melodiemi a precizně odhalující lyrikou vyřezává velmi zvláštní cestu světem. To je hudba, která nás odtrhává od každodennosti nejen jako forma úniku, ale jako prostředek sebereflexe nad strádáním a strategiemi, které k jeho překonání vyvíjíme. Je to dosud nejpropracovanější a nejuznávanější prohlášení kapely.
Location: Cambridge, UK
Album release: July 2nd, 2021
Record Label: Meadows
01. Maiden’s Call 5:59
02. Songbird 10:11
03. The Graveyard Song 6:02
04. Haraldskaer Woman 4:45
05. Under the Waves 3:58
06. Sirens 5:17
07. The Gathering Storm 6:41Review
By Seuras Og, 16 July, 2021
⊆⊕⊇ A full 8 years after the release of their acclaimed Rule of Twelfths, Fuzzy Lights return with their new album Burials. Musically, they freely embracing their homage to sounds of the past, think a loose amalgam of Trees and early Black Sabbath. However, they offer so much more, with a hefty flavour of post~rock experimentalism thrown too into the pot. Presenting themselves as kraut~folk, they accede there may not, yet, be a genre so titled but is not a bad signpost for lovers of either. Centred around Rachel and Xavier Watkins, with her haunting voice and spectral violin and his visceral guitar and enmeshing electronic sounds, this nominal collective is bolstered here by the additional guitar squalls of Chris Rogers, the doom~laden bass of Daniel Carney and the thundering drums of Mark Blay. It is a genuine delight.
⊆⊕⊇ A repeated bass motif, with a haze of distorted fiddle in the distance, Rachel bursts through each of these with her clear yet ethereal tones, a classic folk voice in the foot~fall of singers from Sandy Denny to Lavinia Blackwall; ‘Maiden’s Call’, immediately sets the scene for what to expect. The arrangement is welcoming, the play between instrumentation at once familiar and new. For the accompanying video, which Premiered on Folk Radio, Rachel explained that it was “…a song about loss. It was written shortly after I had a miscarriage and documents the time where you are attempting to come to terms with that loss. It also reflects upon the feeling of connection I found to the many women who have lived these moments in their own lives and the gratitude I felt for that relationship.” The violin glides sharply between the verses, ahead of the further scythe of a fuzzed guitar, the two then weaving around each other, in the build to a mid~song climax, drums clattering wondrously in the background, the bass and second guitar a constant presence throughout. Beat that.
⊆⊕⊇ Well, actually, yes, with a totally different direction, ‘Songbird’ following as a magnum opus, over ten minutes of disturbing drumbeats and the competing sounds of an electric maelstrom, before evolving into a propulsive drone. The vocals carry the same melody line throughout, and there is a distinct feel of motorik meets the Sahara, “Canariwen” if you will.
⊆⊕⊇ With songs about graveyards littering the folk tradition, ‘The Graveyard Song’ keeps that link alive, a quieter and almost medieval ballad, with an expectation of recorders to chime in. But, instead, it is a rolling military drumbeat that appears, Rachel’s bittersweet vocal and lyrical violin atop plucked guitar. As the song progresses, the realisation that the drums are leading a tumbril becomes likely, even if the song is about the perception of time’s passage, through the contrasting eyes of a yew tree and young woman. All too suddenly, the mood changes, with a frenetic guitar solo, strident over an escalating storm of effects and electrics, drums careering all around the kit. And suddenly stop; another wow moment.
⊆⊕⊇ ‘Haraldskaer Woman’ is like a textbook 69~71 Fairport taken a much slower pace, all school of Mattacks drums, guitar and fiddle together adding depth to the plaintive vocal. This makes for a lovely interlude before we are again marrying the greenwood with more distant influences for ‘Under the Waves’; a song about the destruction of coral reefs, the crash of the guitars echoes the pounding surf.
⊆⊕⊇ The penultimate track, ‘Sirens’, remains true to this revisioning of the old, the melody with broadsheet elements, the arrangement a mix of prog and the post~rock alluded to earlier, a prolonged coda allowing further wind and wave effects to draw the conclusion toward the inevitable rocks.
⊆⊕⊇ The meteorological ambience steps up further, and finally, for the quiet build of ‘The Gathering Storm’, which has a distinct San Fran psychedelic feel, a slow sense of foreboding rising alongside the graduated acceleration of the backing menace. The vocals sound detached, the better for that, as the band whip up a nightmare in slo~mo, the track making you stop all else and listen, waiting for the inevitable end of the world. How did it end for you?
CHRIS SAWLE, JUNE 28, 2021. Score: 8.3
⊆⊕⊇ Eight years away, time, on the evidence of Burial, spent supremely wisely. It’s an album of many musics woven well, but with a silver thread of the band they’ve always been glittering in the pattern. Rachel is the folk anchor; it’s her crystal clear and supremely English melodic diction which act as the mycelium, the underlying system which keeps the album coming from one place while it fans out into an encapsulating faerie ring with eyes to expand its territory far. You have to wonder where they’ll turn next, how magical that might be. Way beyond folk and folk in essence all at once, it’s record that’ll bring you immense reward.
Fuzzy Lights — „Burials“ (July 2nd, 2021)