CD Review – The Crescent Sun by Ellen Mary McGee
The Crescent Sun is an evocative collection of Folk songs from the singer and multi instrumentalist Ellen Mary Mcgee.
She supports her light and pure vocal range with her own guitar, banjo, glokenspiel, drums and percussion backing with help from other musicians playing everything from cello to organ, piano and Ebow electric guitar.
There are a number of different sound-scapes here that range far from traditional folk music, such as the cello and percussion drenched ‘He is no Earthly Man’ to the pure vocal, guitar and banjo interpretation of ‘A watch of Nightingales’ which is only spoiled by the unpleasant sound of fingers dragging up and down the strings, but is enlivened by the shimmering piano part.
There is much interplay here, with each song holding its own on the album. Songs such as ‘Theseus’ look to Greek myth, whilst ‘Upon Death and Dying’ has the same feel that its title envokes for the listener, with its droning backing and good percussion part and narrative drive to the lyrics.
‘Acolytes’ has a light summery feel, whilst ‘Teeth of the Hydra’ sounds like Portishead might if they employed Earl Scruggs for a session. There is much to like and admire in this collection, from the singing to the production, and shows a direction that Folk music might take in the future.