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Abagail Grey - Dark Wood EP

  by Lisa Torem

published: 9 / 8 / 2012

Abagail Grey - Dark Wood EP
Label: Abagail Grey Records
Format: CDS


Heartbreaking and stings-laden new EP from Scottish folk outfit Abagail Grey, which centres on singer Claire Campbell's grief for her late aunt who died of leukemia

Abagail Grey consists of Scotland’s Claire Campbell, who writes, sings and plays piano and fiddle, bassist Ali Brown, drummer Derek Urquhart and Chris Geddes (Belle & Sebastian) who doubles on keys and percussion. The band has kept busy lately performing at festivals such as Celtic Connections, London Folkfest, and the acclaimed Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where they shared the spotlight with the Beach Boys, Foo Fighters and Iron Maiden Last year they produced 'Apple Cherub Dove'as well as the downloadable 'Winter and Icicles'. Their new EP 'Dark Wood' receives support from a number of fine string players. Tony Doogan (Snow Patrol, Teenage Fanclub) and Chris Geddes acted as co-producers on this effort, as well. The four songs centre on Campbell’s grief over the death of her aunt, who died of leukemia, and with whom she shared sacred childhood memories. Campbell says, “She taught me my first tune on the piano. I wrote the song ‘Dark Wood’ not long after she died. Knowing her as a child was one of my first experiences of love.” The love Campbell felt for her aunt shines through; from the sensitive lyrics to the piano passages that could lull a colicky baby to sleep. ‘Dark Wood’ is the most wrenching of the four because Campbell anchors the lyric with such fortitude, yet vulnerability. ‘Water’ has more movement, and a brighter tonality. Campbell uses her upper register, which contrasts the previous track. The song reflects exactly what happened when Campbell discovered her aunt had succumbed to the disease. She “found herself imagining this stretch of water, where people who’d died would wait for others to join them.” This imagined event led her to a feeling of acceptance. ‘Shoes’ is notable for its whispering piano and sheer simplicity. “I will tie a ribbon in your hair, my dear, a golden ribbon,” Campbell sings. The delightful “clip a clop” chorus reflects a story told by her aunt about her first pair of high-heels. The strings, an integral part of the arrangement, play an important part as the story unfolds. The last track ‘Flame,’ which is more of an anthem, has more commercial potential than the others structurally, and adds further contrast because it is performed as a duet. The combination of male/female textures makes it that much more spellbinding. “I let the flame go out past the tree,” they sing, in this vivid repast. “You always shone so bright,” they conclude. The tender lyrics and somber/sweet instrumental touches make 'Dark Wood' a well-polished product.

Track Listing:-
1 Dark Wood
2 Water
3 Shoes
4 Flame

Band Links:-

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