Review Archive

‘Waters So Deep’ debut album from KARA - a startling mix of expression

(July 18, 2014)

An enigmatic concoction of musical influences and enchanting narratives make up the debut album KARA - debut album‘Waters So Deep’ from KARA, as it blends a potion that takes you on a fantasy journey touched at times with startling realities. The influences slide through Russia, England, Ireland, and France, each excursion resonating individually and collectively throughout. This myriad of inspiration is augmented by an original touch of self-penned material, together they take a singular path to deliver a sound that is entirely distinctive.

KARA are Gary Holbrook (accordion) Ben Honey (guitar) Daria Kulesh (lead vocals) Kate Rouse (hammered dulcimer, vocals) and it’s that singular simplicity of mix that gives this band its characteristic edge. From the languid dreamy tale of ‘Rusalka’inspired by Pushkin’s romantic mystical poetry, through Ben Honey’s drifting pastoral exploration in ‘Hunter’s Moon’ and the joy that pervades ‘Union Street’ complete with its inspired little dance tune coda, this is an album that takes you on strange journeys and winds down mysterious paths. The tone switches into a more lifelike vein with the darkly languorous narrative ’In Lille’ driven by a superbly emotive melody carried by hammered dulcimer and accordion with the lush suggestion of its sensuous vocals.

There’s a startling mix of expression on ‘Waters So Deep’ - ‘Found Harmonium’ slides between the influences of British composer Simon Jeffes and the German Baroque of Johann Pachelbel, the enigmatically titled ‘Flying Spaghetti Monster’ created through borrowed and adapted contemporary tunes, and the original writing of Ben Honey and Daria Kulesh. Your expectations of ‘something different’ continue with a complex fusion of sources from Rimsky-Korsakov to Rudyard Kipling - and all the while accordion and dulcimer weave a scintillating tapestry across clear persuasive vocals.

Hopefully, this debut album that will carry KARA a long way - find them here: www.karafolkband.com

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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