1. Sing Unto Me
2. Country Joy
3. Uca's Dance
4. Some Who You Love
5. Revenge Of The Bear
7. Music Has Wings
8. Unlock the Doors
9. Half-Remembered Song
10. Grumpelstiltskins Jig
11. Circle Song
12. Blood And Thunder (feat. Liz Green)
Moulettes deliver singing strings, celestial group harmonies, haunting stories, woodwind and weirdness and general rhythmic devilry: a bewitching combination which has led to comparisons with The Unthanks, Jethro Tull, Kate Bush, Pentangle and Shostakovich. But, ultimately they are uncategorisable - blending folk, classical, prog-rock and pop to create a unique sound and presence.
Once Moulette, Ted Dwane, now of Mumford & Sons has recently returned to the fold to help record the band's second album, The Bear's Revenge out on July 16th, following the single Sing Unto Me (out now). Other guests include acclaimed folk-blues songstress Liz Green, Irish flute and whistle player RÃoghnach Connolly; and virtuoso banjo-ist, Matt Menefee of American nu-bluegrass band Cadillac Sky.
'The Bear's Revenge' continues to explore Moulettes' expanding world of heightened panoramas, dramatic narratives and surreal characters. These owe as much to Mediaeval poetry, fantastical fiction and fairytales as music. Several of the tracks concern the craft of song-making and incantation. Sing Unto Me, Muse Has Wings and Songbird all hymn the mysteries of lyrical and musical inspiration. The album's world is conjured into being by these songs in a self-fulfilling circle of skill and creative magic. It is a world where long voyages and zig-zag wanderings can be both arduous and joyous; where escapes are made by hot-air balloon and winged-horse; tethered circus bears wreak gory revenge; and strange woodland creatures dance spiky jigs.
But at root it has more to do with the internal maps of the human mind and heart. It is often an album about alienations and adieus - listen to the sweeping melancholic waltz, Some Who You Love and the drifting nostalgia of Half-Remembered Song. At the same time, the underlying strength of friendship and love and, especially, kith and kin, are also celebrated: Country Joy is a straightahead, roistering tale of erotic destiny; in Unlock The Doors the polyrhythmic trickery of the track hints at the mazy paths of human relationships; while the final, dreamlike prog-folk fugue, Blood & Thunder has a wise suggestion in its concluding line - 'Seek you out the ones you love best and lay you down in slumber.'
Several Moulettes have been playing together since their teens, over a decade ago, and the musical interplay on display here is a powerful testament to that fact. In 2004 they set up their Den Of Inquity night at London's 12 Bar Club (voted Best Night Out by Time Out readers in 2007), and, in the company of fellow outsiders and friends such as Mystery Jets and Patrick Wolf, they were playing their charismatic, idiosyncratic brand of 21st century folk music well before it became popular to do so.
After a couple of singles and EPs their self-titled debut album was finally released on Balling The Jack in 2010. This found its way onto several Best Of The Year lists. and won an Innovation Award from the prestigious Fatea roots-music website. Their theatricality and extraordinary musicianship has also enthralled crowds at many festivals, including Larmer Tree, Glastonbury, Big Session and Latitude, where they played BBC Radio 3's Late Junction stage.
Individual members of the group are much sought after as writers and players Virtuoso violinist Georgina Leach has recently performed and recorded with Seasick Steve and John Paul Jones, Vocalist Ruth Skipper recorded a duet with Paul Heaton for his Acid Country album. While cellist Hannah Miller and multi-instrumentalist/arranger Oliver Austin are regularly commissioned as composers and have just written a song for Adrian McNally of The Unthanks' forthcoming album, The Boat Project.
Dates to come
06/07 Nova Festival - Pulborough, W. Sussex
21/7 Secret Garden Party - 3 gigs in one day!
5pm @ Onetaste, 8pm @ Small World, 11.30pm @ Cut-A-Shine - Nr. Huntingden, Cambs.
29/07 Cambridge Folk Festival (Den Stage)
03/08 Playgroup Fest - 5pm Main Stage - Eridge, half way between Brighton/London
04/08 Nottingham Riverside Festival
05/08 - Standon Calling Festival - Standon, Essex
12/08 Greenwich Summer Festival
25/08 Purbeck Folk Festival, Swanage, Dorset
26/08 Rhythm Festival, Bedfordshire
02/09 End Of The Road Festival, Wiltshire
07/09 Bestival Isle Of Wight
29/09 Life Centre, Bournemouth
06/10 Musicport Festival, Whitby
21/10 Lewes 'Apple Festival'