‘Tide Take Him’ from Various Guises - unusual and captivating musical web(December 15, 2016)
The arrival of an EP from a previously unknown band is always tempting. What does it offer, Where will it take you? The darkly mystical and at times, faintly ominous the powerfully vocal-led ‘Tide Take Him’ from Various Guises, London-based duo Maya McCourt and Blanche Ellis, offers something essentially different and within its embrace creates songs that take you down musical avenues that many might not readily explore.
The mix involves original music heavily coated in the influence of old New Orleans songs and Appalachian tunes woven into a seductive mix combined with English and European traditional music, explorative acapella offerings and intricate harmonies. The image that constantly returns, is of this duo sat at the centre of their unusual and captivating musical web, delicately touching its fibres to draw the listener into their strangely attractive dreamscape. There’s tradition coupled to experimentation, historical narrative fascinatingly revealed ... from the mix of ‘Tide Take Him’ through the meanderings of ‘Willow’ and ‘The Sound and The Fury’ to the vocal acrobatics of ‘Bedlam Boys’ everything is changed and nothing is as expected. To be fair, some will find they have to work hard with this EP, while others will absorb it without hesitation.
Maya McCourt (cello, voice) and Blanche Ellis (guitar, voice) and featured on selected tracks on ‘Tide Take Him’ are Tom Hyatt (piano) and Dana Immanuel (voice).
Review: Charlie Elland