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krunchy on 02/06/2017 at 11:55PM

Review: The Owl's 'Fairy Forest'

The Owl - Fairy Forest

Have you ever had these thoughts: "What is the music like in Siberia?" or maybe "I sure wish an ethereal maiden would transport me to a place of sonic bliss"? Well, do I have the answer for you. 

The Owl is the solo project of composer and pianist, Daria Shakhova. Shakhova is part of progressive rock band Hale de Mars and has been performing music in Novosibirsk since 2006. While I can't speak for the rest of Siberia, Novosibirsk boasts substantial electronic and ambient scenes. The Owl is surely on that ambient spectrum, though more neoclassical in flavor. 

Fairy Forest is a delicate instrumental album inviting you to lose yourself in daydream. Each track features Shakhova on piano and vocals backed by strings. Her voice is haunting but never obtrusive. The Owl's style is evocative of the compositions of Yann Teirsen. All in all, it is a highly listenable album that doesn't demand much of its audience. With titles like "Dreams of Trees", "Winter Smoke", "Moon Saturday", "Rainy Sun", you can think of each track as a meditation. In fact, think of the heroine's voice being stolen by the sea witch. Think of mythological sirens in the mist. Think of anything but ordinary things. Maybe there is something of a characteristic dreamy quality to the music created in such a remote part of the world. 

The only downside is that this is The Owl's only album, but Fairy Forest delivers. Keep it in your back pocket, it is an effective resetter. 

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knottedthread on 05/24/2011 at 05:00PM

big blood & winnebagos

It was last summer when I discovered Big Blood hearlding from Maine. My friend Aaron aka Honeybear played them for me while we we're driving in a Winnebago from Portland, Oregon to Calgary, Alberta. Each day driving in a Winnebago from 1973 was pretty ridiculous. We were the slowest vehicle on the road, cars were constantly passing us and the summer sun was blazing down. With Aaron's dog Jasper in the back, crying and sleeping and us in the front with our tapes, C.D.'s, books, collage materials, empty & full cans of Pepsi, figurines from thrift stores on the dash we would slowly drive through central and eastern Washington on a straight away road with hills and fields for miles with Big Blood as the soundtrack.

From their handmade albums with original artwork, collage, screenprints and beautiful album inserts and then to their music which can lead any road trip on the right path. Big Blood was my soundtrack to last summer. The layers of sound, clapping, shaking voices, crishrounds as my friend Jeff calls them, ghost sounds. You feel like you are around a campfire of gypsies singing, dancing, contemplating, awaiting spirits, roasting food, enjoying life.

Listen to them when you want to escape in your mind to a place of heat, colour, comradery.

Listen when on a road trip in the desert.

Listen to them when you're having a bonfire with friends in your hometown with beers and fire roasted apples.

Listen to them in a summer rainstorm.

They are currently touring Europe. If you're out there you should really go check them out, I would love to one day see them perform. Check out their tour schedule here

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big blood, gypsy, maine, review