REVIEW album Gabrielle Papillon The Tempest of Old

Beautifully Brooding Autumnal Canadiana

The Tempest of Old

Gabrielle Papillon

Canadian Folk Americana, is there such a thing? ‘Canadiana’ (patent pending), whatever it is, it’s probably best defined within this album. Gabrielle Papillon has crafted a well rounded and diverse record that is honestly stripped bare in places but then sweeps you out to sea with orchestral arrangements, all of it splashes around the rock that is her beautiful lilting folky vocals.

The opening track ‘Got You Well’ grabs your immediate attention with both daring use of overamplified fuzziness and sweet haunting vocal together with a strong driving hand clapped beat, violin, banjo pulsing throughout the track.
‘With our trouble’ displays a calm, almost passive easy feel to it, never raising energy levels above a meander, but it feels homely, safe and warm.

Perhaps its the changing of the seasons and with autumn upon us, this record falls at the perfect time for those cozy evenings in, fires crackling away and that windy rainy weather safely locked outside.

‘Preach Love’ displays a likeable vulnerability in Papillon’s vocal, reminding me of a young Joni Mitchell, the longer notes dare I say were straying close to the pitch edge and the opening 3 chords bear more than a faint resemblance of Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars.

The subtle plink of a banjo in the aptly titled ‘Idling’ (and many others on the record) is a joy to hear, and this gentle false lull leads you into the highlight of the album for me - ‘Kentucky in the Dark’ a fun string band, folk protest song “I’ve got bright ideas for every politician” Papillon states. Its not just the going back and forth over minor chords - despite the reference in the track, it bites with an attitude sadly missing in some of the later tracks.

The diversity of style on this record is clearly evident but overall its really a swampy affair , gothic, deeply brooding, not something that you’re going to singalong to, but when the time is right it fits that introspective mood, something to drift along and ponder to, greatly uplifting at times but mostly thoughtful and beautifully melancholic. This album is enticing, relentlessly enveloping you into a world of warm fuzzy moments. Autumn is here now for you all to hear….

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