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Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Griff says: Solstice Reborn

Don't worry about the title, this site hasn't suddenly shifted from blogging about music to blogging about games. The Solstice reborn I'm referring to is the latest precious musical offering from Streetlamp favourite Syd Lane (pictured). You may be a little confused at this point, and may even be asking yourself; "Has Griff lost it? Why he rhapsodised over Syd's new album, Hypatia, only last month." Indeed I did, and for those who are not yet acquainted with the very lovely Syd, you can catch up 'here'. But tonight I'm talking about a newer album, or rather a new, old album. Confused? Let me explain.

On the 21st December (the day of the Winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere) 2009, in her home studio in Dublin, Syd Lane recorded nine songs in a couple of hours, with no breaks in the recording process. The album was named The Solstice Sessions and can still be found on Syd's bandcamp page. Syd felt at the time that she didn't want to hold the songs back and, in January 2010, she released the songs as they were, but deep in her heart she knew that, like all great works of art, they weren't quite finished, but instead abandoned. Syd has now returned to these songs and, with Jason Raspa of frogville originally ear-marked for mastering duties but unable to do so, has herself produced the fully realised conception of that which she heard in her mind back on that short Winter's day in 2009. So how does the remastered Solstice compare to the original? Well, magnificent, of course, but whatever I have to say about it I doubt very much that I could top either this review 'here' by the poet Jeremiah James for insight and affection or this 'here' by the irrepressible Smally of Quixodelic Records for sheer enthusiasm and passion. Please check them both out as they really will make you want to listen immediately to this wonderful album. Incidentally, the album now contains 10 tracks due to the inclusion of Love Far Away. I'd like to write more about how beautiful and sincere this music is but I feel constrained not to. I guess that sometimes I feel that Syd is like a tiny, fragile bird that I'll damage if I hold her too tight with my words, so instead I'll let her fly free and leave you with my two favourite songs from the album.

Beautiful! If you loved those, and I fervently hope that you did, then you may also want to check out Syd assisting Jason Raspa on frogville's brand new Syd Barrett covers EP; Songs In the Key of Barrett. As with Syd Lane's, all of Jason Raspa's music, including new album Love, is free to download from bandcamp.


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