the heartwood institute

I could have sworn we’d mentioned this in earlier dispatches, seems not, the latest outing from the Heartwood Institute much loved around these here parts of course and the chosen alter ego of a certain Jonathon Sharp. ‘the whispering knights’ is an imagined score for a lost and fabled 70’s film of the same name, a tale of three children whose wayward curiosity for the mixing of spell charmed brews summons the ire of a legendary witch who awoken exacts her rage upon the trio who themselves find themselves embroiled in a centuries old battle as good – in the guise of the whispering knights – take to arms to resume their battle against an ages old evil. As to the soundtrack itself, impeccably daubed in the kind of vintage 70’s motifs more commonly associated with both the ghost box and villa9 studio fraternity not to mention something that should appeal to those attuned to the releases by the much-admired horror pop sounds imprint. Between the Bucolic phrasings, the rural daisy chains and the retro toned electronic dimpling both mystery and magic purr throughout this supernatural suite whereupon vague elements of Horror Giallo soundtracks a la Nicolai (see the bleak paranoiac chase of ‘escaping from Morgan again’), Morricone and of course, Goblin thread through to forge a lushly toned tapestry with Brit folk horror ghosts. At times regal and noble as on ‘the legend of the knights’ where the dimpling of rustic heraldry hints and bows subtly to hints of Belbury Poly and Vic Mars. Elsewhere here be the floral fluency of the mellowing “Yours Sincerely, Letitia Hepplewhite” tip toeing gently to the stilled elegiac tracings found beautifying the adorably spectral ‘Steeple Hampden’. And then there are the moments gloomed in eerie shadow plays most notably the chilling portent brought to bear by the oncoming of ‘Morgan pays a visit’ – a hollowed ice tipped dark carnival grinned in macabre manifestations and an ominous ne’er do well chill. A limited CD issue is available via reverb worship.

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