Album ReviewsReviews

Review: The A. Lords (2011)

artist: The A. Lords
release: The A. Lords
format: LP
year of release: 2011
label: Rif Moun­tain
dur­a­tion: 37:53

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

Recor­ded over then sum­mers between 2000 and 2010, this eponym­ous LP is the defin­it­ive work (so far?) by The A. Lords, the duo con­sist­ing of Michael Tan­ner and Nich­olas Palmer. A lovely five-track EP already appeared in 2006 on the now defunct Barl Fire imprint, and four tracks off that release also made it to this LP, some with new names. Six new tracks have been added to fill out the album with more won­der­ful pas­toral folk mean­der­ings.

My ver­dict from five years ago still stands: this is gor­geous music that prac­tic­ally breathes the out­doors, the sun­shine, and the Dor­set land­scape in which it was recor­ded. A wide vari­ety of acous­tic instru­ments gives each track on the album a unique palette, with many opt­ing for sweet drift­ing melod­ies accen­ted with stac­cato glock­en­spiel or dul­ci­mer notes, besides the more famil­iar gui­tar sound, but also gentle organ drones, bells, toy piano, and the ever-present nat­ural back­ground sounds.

This LP is a com­pact album with a clear musical vis­ion, and a per­fect com­pan­ion to  a day in the sun, whether it’s in sum­mer, or a day like we’re hav­ing now: a crisp and clear Octo­ber morn­ing where the sun’s warmth is all the more wel­come. Calm freefolk at its best, in other words. The lovely vinyl edi­tion by Rif Moun­tain with its stun­ning styl­ised art­work only adds to the appeal. Lim­ited to 250 cop­ies, so off ye go!

Reviewed by O.S.


1. Freo­hyll (2:58)
2. Mis­tress Chet­ell (5:27)
3. Sum­mer­house (5:16)
4. Crim­son Ram­bler (2:23)
5. Of Wren Or Raven (3:48)

6. Skyc­lad In Pendle (6:27)
7. The Sev­enth Child (2:07)
8. Hop­kin’s Lament (3:12)
9. Things Near And Far (3:23)
10. Pye­wack­et’s Nest (2:52)