Review: Arrowwood / novemthree (2007) 1


artist: Arrow­wood / novem­three
release: Split
format: 2x 3″ CD-R
year of release: 2007
label: Little Some­body
dur­a­tion: 38:23

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

The latest on Little Some­body Records is a cute little double 3″ split between Arrow­wood (Chelsea Robb) and novem­three (Pythag­u­mus Mar­shall). Like I’ve come to expect, the hous­ing is excel­lent: the discs are in a pretty hand­made gate­fold, lined with fab­ric on the inside. The music is also quite OK, because we get some fine dark foresty folk tunes from both artists.

Arrow­wood plays a kind of neo­folk, based on dark mel­an­cholic gui­tar and banjo melod­ies, com­bined with touches such as bells, glock­en­spiel, and flute. Chelsea’s voice is remark­able: a sort of girl­ish fairy voice, which con­trasts quite strongly with the some­times dark and hor­rid lyr­ics. On her side of the split, we get a solid col­lec­tion of short songs, which may not be the most ori­ginal or var­ied, but def­in­itely atmo­spheric.

Novem­three’s music, as some read­ers of our mag may know, is rel­at­ively sim­ilar, except of course for Pythag­u­mus’ voice, and a greater emphasis on per­cus­sion. This side of the split fea­tures again a nice selec­tion of tracks. “Scythe to the Grass” is a reworked ver­sion of the track that appeared on the down­load­able part of the John Bar­ley­corn Reborn com­pil­a­tion. “Stones of Blood”, like the oth­ers, is a new track, fea­tur­ing hummed vocals and skin drum (bongo-like) per­cus­sion. In gen­eral, I think these tracks are on the level of those on of my mother’s weary wan­der­ing, although I miss an actual song with sung lyr­ics. The clos­ing track, “Ves­pers”, makes up for that, how­ever; it’s a bril­liant mel­an­cholic instru­mental with excel­lent piano work by guest artist Kelly Wise.

In short, this is another nice release from this label, with atmo­spheric nature-inspired folk tunes, and a great lay­out. If you liked what came before on the label, this won’t dis­ap­point you, but even if you’re not famil­iar with the label yet, you might want to check this out if you are into dark and foresty folk atmo­spheres.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

Arrow­wood:
1. Hawthorne Wheel (1:07)
2. Funeral Lul­laby (2:10)
3. Bells in an Old Forest (2:04)
4. With My Heart in My Head Like One Eye (3:30)
5. Rising Hill (2:09)
6. Hock­wold (2:01)
7. Winged Sirens (0:57)
8. Moun­tain Water Reprise (3:00)

novem­three:
9. Scythe to the Grass (reworked) (3:07)
10. Stones of Blood (2:33)
11. Beneath the Hem­lock, Within the Grove (3:49)
12. Wind­ing Away Through the Thicket (2:16)
13. To Breathe in the Trees (5:50)
14. Ves­pers (3:50)


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