There are occasions, albeit rare ones when listening to an album for the first time I experience a musical eureka moment – How To Kill A Butterfly is one such album and one that made a instant impression but coupled it with a visceral feeling that it will remain one I return to often.
Band of Holy Joy’s music has occasionally crossed my path but only fleetingly so I arrive at their latest release with only the knowledge that I have the album from a source with a discerning and eclectic taste that I respect, no comparisons to be made with the bands previous recordings then – except retrospective ones as I’ve earmarked a raid on their back catalogue starting with eMusic when this month’s subscription renews. Formed back in 1984 in New Cross London by Geordie Johny Brown the band have undergone a raft of line up changes over the years the current members alongside Brown (vocals) are Andy Astle (guitar), Bill Lewington (drums), Chris Brierley (violin), James S Finn (bass) and Inga Tillere (visuals).
From the start you know you’re onto a winner, the lead off track lays the foundation for the album with it’s hushed opening and softly delivered words gradually building to a crescendo of violin and drums with Brown imploring Go Break The Ice before it slips quietly to a close seguing perfectly into track two one of the albums many highlights which include the sublime The Observers Book of Bird Eggs, although I didn’t own a copy of the revered publication as a child it did trigger some wonderful recollections of similar books treasured in my youth, there’s an emotional depth in the poetry of Brown’s lyrics and an instrumental at the albums mid-point provides a perfect break and room for brief contemplation.
Wonderfully crafted the songs preach with a desolate beauty leaving behind plenty of food-for-thought and like many great songs they posses elements for the listeners to put their own interpretation on. So I have a new album of the year – and one that has presented me with a degree of procrastination greater then any other I’ve listened to so far in 2011 over what track to post, I’m going with the closing one, between the hushed start of the album and the crackle and fade out of A Clear Night, A Shooting Star, A Song for Boo this is a both a memorable and emotive album.
It’s out on the 28th of this month and you can get your hands on a copy at Exotic Pylon