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Cinder Well (from the album Cadence on Cinder Well/Free Dirt Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Much of today’s so-called ‘Nu-Folk’ revolves around the effective application of atmosphere and ambience to equal degrees. Cinder Well makes good use of those essential additives by effectively instilling them in a sound that’s celestial, suggestive, and seductive in every regard. Cadence, her second album, was largely inspired by the separate, yet very distinctive environs she calls home — those being the California coast where she grew up, and the wind-swept vistas of Western Ireland, a place where she relocated and subsequently found an instant attachment. The dreamy desire that permeates each of these nine offerings makes a marked impression, reminding the listener that uncertainty seems to a natural element in life, and that even in isolation, there’s a common bond that binds us all together.
The arrangements complement that elusive aura, courtesy of trance-like tones, sobering sentiment, and delicate strings that come courtesy of Cormac MacDiarmada, a member of the celebrated Irish ensemble Lankum. His influence is obvious, and the results are manifest in the billowy and yet expansive approach that illuminates each track, particularly the delicate designs found in “Crow”, “Gone the Holding”, “Overgrown”, and the title track itself. It’s a lovely, if somewhat distant sound, all hushed and haunting circumspect that drifts ever so sensuously with delicacy and desire.
In some ways, Cinder Well reminds one of the late, great Sandy Denny, whose wistful reflections operated on a similar emotional plane. Well’s melodies aren’t quite as emphatic as Denny’s once were, primarily because she opts for a hazier approach that relies more on aural suggestion rather than any real specific stance. Closing track “I Will Close in the Moonlight” is an ideal example; supported by sparse piano, she sings the following:
‘When the gaping wound,
Closes to mend,
And the planes touch down,
I wonder when,
When the haze of mourning is but a memory
And the fields before us, they are evergreen’.
It’s quite poetic, of course, but the ambiguity leaves much to the imagination. Then again, that surreal suggestion is the very essence of the intrigue Cinder Well is apparently so eager to offer. And it is that desire which makes Cadence so completely captivating. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Cinder Well from AMAZON
For more information, please visit the Cinder Well website
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