Autumn Grieve "Terra Infinita"
I hadn't heard Canadian singer-songwriter Autumn Grieve before, so it was nice to finally get the chance to do that. 'Terra Infinita' was recorded with Deserted Villager and multi-instrumentalist/ composer Scott McLaughlin, as well as an ensemble of assorted villagers, including the ubiquitous Dave Colohan and skronkmeister Sean Og. It's primarily Grieve and McLaughlin's show though, and together they get the hairs standing on end in a sombre and gothically-beautiful way that had me in mind of Heidi Berry's exquisite anomalies for Creation records, "Below the Waves" and "Firefly". Berry would later be homogenised for a 4AD audience, but at that point her work had the same spare, economical precision as Grieve's does here. 'Flown' is dazzling night-side folk, ideally suited to staring through rain-spattered windows. 'The Balance and the Beauty' is an expanding gyre of a mantra so beautiful it almost beggars description. All I can say is it makes the heart both ache and soar at the same time. Props go to Kate Redman's clarinet, which forms a perfect counterpoint to Grieve's vocals. 'Today the Rain' brings the vocal reverb and delay in a most effectively Nadler-esque fashion; haunted vocals and treated piano sailing some very turbulent emotional seas. Here's hoping that the wish for death embodied in the lyrics are melancholy/romantic catharsis and not literal. 'The Borrowed Light of Memory' takes the listener out bathed in a distinctly pre-Raphaelite glow, autumnal and perfectly, exquisitely sad.
It would be impossible to describe Autumn's music without mentioning Kate Bush - though more from depth of feeling rather than a direct link. Her first release for bedroom-run label Rusted Rail feels deeply feminine, steeped in emotion, offering a unique take on the world of pastoral folk. Autumn's breathy vocals serve as another instrument within the layers of delicate guitar, and careful strings. The result is individuality in a genre that has become heavily loaded of late. Essential.
Autumn Grieve is a Canadian born singer and onetime member of Belfast based outfit Resin. On this twenty minute four
track mini album on the Rusted Rail label she has stripped everything back to its bare essentials and simply let her
amazing voice shine through. She has worked with members of the Rachel's in the past and you can hear some of their
piano based sounds on the opening track "Flown", you can also hear the sounds of the likes of Cat Power, Lisa Gerrard
and Marissa Nadler in there. Simply put this is some of the most hauntingly beautiful folk you are likely to hear in
quite a while, a real hidden treasure. Comes pressed on a limited edition 3 inch cdr and features a handmade card miniature
gatefold sleeve, even the packaging is beautiful.
Autumn Grieve returns with 'Terra Infinita', a suite of four songs. This act is one of the lesser known ones loosely affiliated
with the Deserted Village collective with one set released previously. Their music is chamber pop music centred around such
instruments as piano, saxophone, violin and clarinet. A sense of loss and longing runs through their melodic songs, sung simply
by the female lead. The production on their releases is always notable with a widescreen sound and sense of drama. Four songs
simply isn't enough, their evocative mixture of All About Eve and Dead Can Dance is unique and we leave their music always
before we want to. There is a folky simplicity that runs through the music, sometimes falling back to acoustic guitar and whistle.
Music this beautiful isn't often found around the charts, but it's existence is to be celebrated here. It's a little musical charm,
a delight that those who discover it will treasure.
Autumn Grieve's soaring voice has an ethereal quality to it and she avoids the cliche of any obvious female role model.
Instead, her style is perhaps informed by two generations of Buckleys: Tim and Jeff. These heartfelt songs are accompanied
by slightly ghostly arrangements... violin, piano, guest appearances from the likes of Dave Colohan (Agitated Radio Pilot) on
tin whistle, Sean Og on baritone sax and we even get a lyric sheet. All this in the sort of handcrafted packaging that makes each Rusted
Rail release a joy to behold.
This four song EP highlights the powerful, gorgeous voice of Canadian Autumn Grieve, formerly of Irish band Resin. Her voice is at the center here, with a light folk and almost chamber pop backing, which makes especially good use of piano and violin. "Flown" and "The Balance and The Beauty" showcase confident, even defiant writing. Think Cat Power, but not PJ Harvey. Even in her definitive statements, Grieve leaves her arms open, with all the hope she can muster....... Autumn Grieve's amazing voice and lyrical ambitions satisfy. She is bound to make noise on the folk scene, and deserves a wider audience for her music.
The EP's four songs are impressive, combining spellbinding, haunting, folk-rock with Autumn's strongest vocal performances to date.