Review Archive

‘The Shepherd’s Calendar’ from The Blossom - classic folk lore fare

(June 13, 2015)

The myriad sources of this twelve-song folk pastoral idyll take their inspiration from the artist’s personal muse, paganism, woodland memories, the essence of Edmund Spenser’s words, an echo of John Clare and the ever-evolving cycle the shepherds calendar - the blossomof the calendar year. ‘The Shepherd’s Calendar’ from progressive-acoustic-folk band The Blossom is an otherworldly melange of strings, pipes and ethereal voices blended into songs that slide from faintly soporific to delicately revealing. The narratives are filled with tenderness and trepidation, mendacity and misery, enchantment and enigma – all classic folk lore fare.

A feeling of bitter cold that courses through ‘A Winter Hunt’, the lamentable battlebetween beasts in ‘Song Of The Hare’ and the life-cycle imagery of ‘A War Among The Flowers’ pursue the allegories, and together with the extended narratives of ‘The Melancholy Shepherd’ and ‘Lord Of The Marsh’, present the population of this rural utopia. Along with the run of the seasons, there are echoes of bucolic relation, visits to spirit realms, the hopes of shepherds, fears of damsels and mysteries of parable. 

This album creates a distance between worlds. This one and a world that has perhaps faded in the face of forgetfulness, its rituals and respects abandoned by people. However, there’s also the sense that it can only be a short time before it rises once more. Some of us will appreciate this album and some may not … and they’re probably those that believe the old world is lost forever, and how wrong they are.

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Review: Tim Carroll

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