Review: Autumn Grieve - Stray Birds (2009)


artist: Autumn Grieve
release: Stray Birds
format: CDr
year: 2009
label: Cor­bel Stone
dur­a­tion: 24:42

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

The world is full of gems. Some you find after a long time of frantic search­ing and toil, hid­den away some­where. Oth­ers you just find on your travels, through sheer luck or coin­cid­ence, or per­haps left in its place by someone. Stray Birds is, then, like a pebble found in a meadow, pol­ished by time or some unknown source, with a simple, unique beauty.

Grieve’s songs for voice and acous­tic gui­tar have an eleg­ant and nat­ural poetry that fits per­fectly with the gently beau­ti­ful atmo­sphere cre­ated by the sound and present­a­tion of this release. In the back­ground, we hear subtle arrange­ments for strings and piano by Richard Skelton, who man­ages excel­lently to sup­ple­ment these songs without becom­ing obtrus­ive, enhan­cing the musical whole rather than clut­ter­ing it.

Stray Birds, like its pre­de­cessor Terra Infin­ita, is a release that turns inward rather than to the out­side, find­ing a beau­ti­ful expres­sion in its own realm, without any obvi­ous dis­trac­tion of musical cita­tions or dir­ect influ­ences. Quite fit­ting, then, that an EP like this is lim­ited to a couple of very small, hand­made edi­tions. Like those spe­cial pebbles, you have to ven­ture out to find them, but the rewards are plen­ti­ful for those with an open spirit.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. Alight (3:45)
2. Within Hol­lows (4:56)
3. Shades (3:17)
4. Reven­ants (4:33)
5. Depart (3:46)
6. Kneel (4:25)

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