Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
There is a certain majesty in the way that Elfin Bow presents her self-titled new album, not one of false regal misfortune but instead the type that is more natural, more ethereal, the type in which Tatiana would look upon her fellow fairies with pride or Juno, the wife of Jupiter would tease and rack the conscious of Tiresias whilst being the mother of all strong women in the Roman Empire; it is the majesty of innocence, of sublime spirit and protection and one that Elfin Bow, the superb Elizabeth Jones, wears well.
The sense of playfulness wrapped up in sorrow but with an edge of controlled fury is evident throughout the album, it is carefully weaved like a quilt, its many patchwork flourishes are to be marvelled over and applauded, the sense of rhythm is at its highest quality as each song is more attuned to a fable narrative, the tale and its moral, its significance in the scheme of the web that joins everything together.
Whether this is a deliberate sensation placed down by Elfin Bow and her players, Oscar South, Daniel J. Logan, Victoria Wasley, Muirreann McDermot, Allan Crooks, Tom Kitching, Jamie Francis, Charles Sweeney, Saydyho Fedorova and Elfin’s fellow producer, the excellent Gary Edward Jones, it doesn’t in the scheme of things matter, sometimes the story is so natural that what could be seen as honourable fortune is actually a flowing piece of narrative, perhaps a speculative, unconscious marvel.
Elfin Bow is to be congratulated for this album, the most natural of all steps undertaken for an artist, she plays each story out in a similar vein to all the great tale writers, from Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories to Hans Christian Andersen, there is something so delicate but strong in these songs that they defy even the wickedest wind.
In tracks such as Sweet Jonathan, Grimshaw and the Fingerclaw, Edith’s Song, Hey and The Friend and Holler In The Hollows, Elfin Bow has produced a great set of tracks that are highly valued, much loved and capable of pulling the listener into the realm of storytelling and magic music with ease. A truly wonderful album.
Ian D. Hall