When I Close My Eyes – Faeland (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Why merely make music when you can build gorgeous soundscapes? Why just play tunes when you can tap into emotions? Why talk to the listener’s rational brain when you can communicate directly with their heart, perhaps even their very soul? Why write songs if you are not going to bring something to life that enriches people’s lives?

Consciously or otherwise, all of these questions and considerations seem to drive Faeland‘s creativity. Like All My Swim before it, this second album from the modern folk duo is a masterclass, not only in how you write understated, deft and delicate songs but in the effect that songs can have on the recipient.

A blend of folk traditions, country-infused tunes and serene pop, it builds beautiful backdrops out of the most minimal of sonic lines. And as the name suggests there is something otherworldly and magical running through the music that they summon up here but it also speaks of the human condition; a bridge between the real and the fantastic, this world and one beyond.

What Will I Be? is a song in the classic traditions of folk music and Willow is an ode to the places which seem to exist on the edge of both worlds, and then there are haunting piano ballads such as Long Lost which owe a debt, in part, to the likes of Laura Nyro and Judy Collins and mote recently Laua Marling.

Gorgeous seems both an overused word and one far too small and limiting to describe the music that Faeland makes but it will have to do until something better is invented, something that captures exactly how special the music is.

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