Review: Sedayne - Naked Season (2009)


sedayne_nsartist: Sedayne
release: Naked Sea­son
format: MC
year of release: 2009
label: Sloow Tapes
dur­a­tion: 58:01

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com.

Through­out the years, Eng­lish storyteller and musi­cian Sean Breadin remains one of the most unique voices in mod­ern folk music. His idio­syn­cratic style walks a tightrope between loy­alty to tra­di­tion on one side, and the love for exper­i­ment and unique expres­sion on the other, prov­ing that the two need not exclude each other. In this respect, he is up there with Andrew King as being one of the most inter­est­ing artists in exper­i­mental Brit­ish folk.

Apart from loose tracks on MySpace and You­Tube, Naked Sea­son is Sean’s latest release, once more under the name of Sedayne. It was released in Janu­ary 2009 on Sloow Tapes, lim­ited to 70 cop­ies, which have since sold out.

What we get is almost an hour of clas­sic Sedayne mater­ial. A great deal of the songs are tra­di­tion­als, but as usual, the musical arrange­ments are unique, played in an assort­ment of string instru­ments, per­cus­sion and other odds and ends. The emphasis is on hurdy-gurdy drones, mouth harp, and skin drum. All of it, except for the singing, are in a timbre quite unlike that usu­ally used in folk musi­cian­ship, always lend­ing Sean’s music a more oth­er­worldly touch, turn­ing folk into some­thing edgy and excit­ing, rather than con­firm­ing the stuffy image that often clings to it.

Com­pared to his other releases, though, Naked Sea­son isn’t all that spe­cial. The album shines in the excel­lent double open­ing track; both the vocal and instru­mental raga ver­sion of “Seeds of Love” are won­der­ful. Equally impress­ive is the exten­ded “The Sheep Stealer”, set up with a per­fect nar­rat­ive tempo and a grip­ping instru­mental part with cla­ri­net solo. Many of the other tracks, like the slightly unin­spired rendi­tion of “John Bar­ley­corn” are a bit less remark­able though, essen­tially busi­ness as usual for Sean, which is good non­ethe­less, but not essen­tial com­pared to his other works.

This tape is worth seek­ing out for Sedayne fans, espe­cially for the couple of bril­liant tracks on it. But, since it’s sold out and not an excep­tional album, new­comers would do best to check out other works first, still avail­able through Sean’s own Plough­myth Inter­na­tional.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

Side 1 (Dex­ter)

A1 Seeds Of Love (Song) (6:45)
A2 Seeds Of Love (Raga) (12:00)
A3 John Bar­ley­corn (8:13)
A4 Shoe The Goose (2:27)

Side 2 (Sin­is­ter)

B1 Cob-A-Coaling (6:26)
B2 Clarty Hall (7:17)
B3 The Sheep Stealer (11:23)
B4 Leg Of A Mal­lard (4:15)