laura j martin

Now if we weren’t blighted by the fact that our handy at the tip of my fingers resource of reviews has gone westwards into some cyber void since Losing Today decided it would be rather novel to pull the plug. Or that copies of most said reviews are currently languishing on old long unused hard drives some found and some yet to be found. We would be able to direct you in the blink of an eye or rather more a click of the mouse to our earlier lyrical waxings on this most precocious and crookedly gifted talent. ‘dazzle days’ is second album time for Ms Martin, here accompanied by Mike Lindsay (a somewhat recurring presence on recent Static Caravan releases and seemingly forging a reputation as the go to person for that something a little special and off road) and Benge (supplying analogue synth trimmings) along with we believe Neil Innes whose reportedly deeply entrenched in the rustic fog). Been something of a busy year for Laura, acclaimed festival appearances both as part of bonus skor and euros childs is wrapped up culminating in a short tour to support the release of ‘dazzle days’. available on vinyl only – just 500 copies via static caravan each arriving replete with digital downloads codes for the heathens among you still resisting old school ways the set features thirteen beautifully inscribed folk treats blessed by a creative hand far removed from your usual fayre. You see we here reckon that Ms Martin’s (Laura J Martin in case you’ll be rifling through record racks persuaded by this little musing) musical instinct and melodic ear is wired somewhat adrift of your normal Joe and instead of hearing sounds for sounds sake like most she rather more translates them into colours, moods and little pocket picture books. Taken as a whole ’Dazzle days’ features not so much songs but as were narrative scenes that reveal a dawn to dusk snapshot of a day in Martin’s enchanted world, hitherto quite unlike anything you’ve ever heard, certainly far removed from your usual pop pap, ‘dazzle days’ is invested with a lightness, more so a touch of a water colouring detail assumed of a rare alchemic palette that tip toes between nursery rhyme (as on the playground skipping like yarn ’sour grapes’ here tenderly coaxed and flavoured by a distinct ‘incantations‘ era Oldfield-ian essences), mystery, folk lore, snoozing shanties (’hold it Dear’ and the cosmically seafaring title track) and custom, it echoes to a musical tradition deeply entrenched in the English psyche and reference wise perfect listening for those Kate Bush admirers among you who lost their way after ‘the dreaming’ (best exemplified by the entrancing noir hymnal ‘half perfect’) as well as Linda Perhacs fans of which the press release makes good call comparisons. All at once spectral and sparsely detailed, hushed and homely not to mention dinked in a love noted  woozy willowy-ness which on occasion blossoms to life in the most off centred radiant way to reveal a full on lush vitality (as on the sweetly arresting and deliriously woozy ‘aged crow‘), ’dazzle days’ is soothed to a minimalist timbre, throughout there’s a distinct sense of a theatrical thought process at play amid the arranged musicality, itself ghosted in a becoming autumnal feel. From the brief opening ghostly allure of ‘thaw’ your greeted into a magical twilight netherworld wherein your visited upon by the flightily crooked and wonky rustic madrigal of the sun chirped blossoming ’red flag’ all sweetly glazed and hazed in a woodland spell craft of willowy wind instrumentations and arcane folk reverie. One for the play lists the softly affectionate and cutesy ’dream of sin’ emerges from the hazy myriad of squirreling flutes and chirping gypsy musicalia to shuffle and shimmy beneath your defences like some impishly airy incantation pouring forth some mystic head expanding intoxicant. Elsewhere there’s the divinely fragile and floral beauty ’on our shoulders’ slowly unfurling momentarily from its shy eyed hide away only to dissolve into the bruised string serenaded earth beat of ’puppet dances’. the lulling lullaby like ‘at the close of the day’ is possessed of a darkly beautified haunting aspect that shrills delicately to a funereal glow that masks an irresistible warmth hued celebration whilst ‘closed hands’ sparkles brightly to round up the set inspired no doubt by those breezy interludes that used to flavour the grooves of platters bearing the esteemed name Nick Drake upon their labels. Utterly enchanting and irrefutably not of this time.

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