just in case you missed this first time around – review of Haruko’s wild geese album – originally published via losing today in july 2009….
Haruko ‘wild geese’ (bracken). What can we say. Since arriving in our gaff this hollowing honey has entranced not only this particular listener but his hi-fi as well. Haruko – a by all accounts common Japanese girl’s name which roughly translated means ‘spring child’ (though why I mention this is beyond both you and me its not as if I’m being paid by the word count, in fact paid – ha – peanuts would be something and I don’t get that) – is the chosen nom de plume of a certain Susanne Stanglow who according to her my space page can these days be found in the wiles of Germany – exact location unknown though we’d like to think its somewhere remote possibly a crooked shed deep in the woodland in earshot of the nature’s chorus of beautified bird song and the gentle ripple of a nearby stream surrounded. For ’wild geese’ incidentally not to be confused with – ah hem – the ‘film’ of the same name has all the ring marks of something whittled in the wild far remove from society’s annoying distractions. Our copy we are led to believe is the last available vinyl version (don’t worry there is a CD) and comes replete with a dinky lyric pamphlet featuring artwork by Susanne and a most heart softening message of such humbled self depreciation commenting on her perceived flaws within the recording. Frankly girl I haven’t a clue why your fretting for ‘wild geese’ aside being exquisitely crafted in something approaching elegiac could well be one of the silent outsider contenders for folk album of the year. Ten mellowing murmurs feature within that operate with the same spectral intimacy of Lisa O Piu (none more so than on the rustic shanty like shimmer of ‘autumn, golden trees’) and Lucy Wren, all the time ’wild geese’ lilts and lulls with an alluring shy eyed desire awash with the tug of faintly translucent love notes that softly glide – their bows (wo)man armed with just an acoustic guitar applying the tenderly stressed fretwork of the undulating tumbling and cascading pastoral rustics that pour forth themselves imbibed with a supernatural mystique. From the moment the crackle and hiss of the stylus connecting to the vinyl passes ’welcome to Loveland’ appears ushered upon a drifting mistral, softly beckoning and dappled with a free spirited aura its slight of hand purr reminiscent of the bare beauty of Damon and Naomi’s collaboration with Ghost a few years ago. Immediately your transfixed by its apparition like fleeting demeanour. ’spring in our lungs’ gathers apace, beautifully timeless in texture and lushly hushed in a detail that recalls the more genteel Mayday follies of both Mellow Candle and Fairport Convention. Then there’s the breathless rush of the Gaelic timbres of ’man in the moon’ by which point you’re helplessly enchanted by Haruko’s lullaby spectres, their weaving and wooing tapestry crafted and carved in an mysterious un-worldliness rarely heard wielding such touching and haunting romance as the debut brace of albums by Ms Bush. There’s something faraway and lost in the moment about the sleepy headed ’morning dreams’ that suggests it needs to be heard to be believed – fans of Susan Christie will no doubt be all-a-swoon to it. Likewise with the ethereal and magical ‘the mountain adventure’ which push come to shove – and believe you me its such a difficult call to make – perhaps provides the set with its defining moment being all dreamily awash with mellowing tonalities and the trembling trimmings of woody watercolours. Simple perfect.
Key tracks –
The mountain adventure
Spring in our lungs
Welcome to Loveland