Review: The A. Lords (2006)


artist: The A. Lords
release: The A. Lords
format: 3″ CD-R
year of release: 2006
label: Barl Fire
dur­a­tion: 19:42

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

The A. Lords is a pro­ject out of the Dor­set Pae­ans Col­lect­ive (in this case Michael Tan­ner and Nich­olas Palmer). I first heard about them by way of their excel­lent song “Sum­mer­house”, which fea­tured on the John Bar­ley­corn Reborn com­pil­a­tion. That track also appears on this 3″, released by Barl Fire, and I think also the first release by this pro­ject.

The five tracks on this EP are all in the style of the afore­men­tioned track: calm, pas­toral acous­tic music, mak­ing use of a vari­ety of instru­ments, ran­ging from the obvi­ous (gui­tar) to the unex­pec­ted (toy piano). We also hear organ, balalaika, dul­ci­mer, and most import­antly: “the birds play them­selves.” The use of field record­ings and live on-the-spot record­ings give the tracks a very spon­tan­eous and hon­est feel - you can even hear a tele­phone ringing in the back­ground on the last track. It’s as if these songs are recor­ded out­side on a spring morn­ing, or at night, look­ing at the stars.

The EP is well suc­ceeded, and the music itself, though simple, is decept­ively com­pel­ling. I keep com­ing back to it. Both acous­tic tracks like “Sum­mer­house” and more ambi­ent ones like “Mikemedi­eval” hit exactly the right spot. A per­fect little release to drift off by. Though this release is prob­ably sold out by now, lov­ers of freefolk and warm acous­tic ambi­ent should def­in­itely keep an eye on these guys.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. The Dawn Chorus (1:43)
2. Sum­mer­house (5:16)
3. Toy Piano, Balalaika (2:07)
4. Mikemedi­eval (7:15)
5. Gui­tar, Dul­ci­mer (3:21)

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