‘Seven Tides’ from Apple of My Eye - an enticing mixture into intriguing realms(November 20, 2014)
The band calls it “Folk music for the drunks, the drowned and the lost at sea” … that may be, it’s also folk music for those ready and willing to wander along some of the waiting-to-be-explored and less-travelled paths of English folk. ‘Seven Tides’ is the latest album from ex-Bristol-living now London-dwelling, Apple of My Eye. In October 2012 we reviewed their debut and described ‘an elemental vagueness, a faint fragility and odd incongruity … a collection of strange ethereal folk tales.’ Without doubt the intervening years have not reduced their idiosyncrasy one jot. Indeed, their singularly different edge has sharpened and it’s all the better for the honing, retaining an exceptional distinction that sets their music apart from the rest. The amalgam of intricate harmonies and vocal calisthenics that permeate their self-penned blend of narrative folk shapes an enticing mixture that calls the listener into intriguing realms.
Their songs exhibit a diverse melange of influences flowing and coalescing in perfect harmony. Maritime visions and tales, narrative associations and histories, murmurings about lost souls, wanderings, homecomings and departures, coupled with a few fine observations on life and all its vagaries. They explore ominous warnings, dire tales and spectral manifestations within ‘Don’t Go To The Sea’, ‘Burn Sir!’ and ‘Ghosts’, narratives such as ‘Budleigh-O’, ‘Greenwich Town’ and ‘Jean Michel’ and other ‘merrie’ tunes emphasise a perfect blend of traditional with contemporary, while adventures through ‘Murmuration’, ‘Stone’ and ‘Well’ turn to more personal recounting. And if the drowsy tone of ‘Durdham Down’ doesn’t evoke inebriated summer days then you’ve clearly never put your head near a glass of Old Rosie.
Apple of My Eye are a band carving out a niche that is undoubtedly their own, with voices in layered profusion coupled to prudently minimal instrumentation delivering a surfeit of nurtured narratives. Due for release on 1 December 2014, ‘Seven Tides’ is a fifteen-track album that will grow on you, sticking to the fabric of your mind with the tenacity of ivy to old mortar.
Those responsible for Apple of My Eye are Phil Cornwell (double bass, glockenspiel, vocals) Arran Glass (guitar, vocals), Kit Massey (violin, vocals), Alex Scott (mandolin, guitar, vocals) Chris Rusbridge (bouzouki, vocals) Dan Rusbridge (harmonica, violin, vocals) and Ellie Rusbridge (vocals). Find band and album here:www.applesinlondon.com
Reviewer: Tim Carroll