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Espers - Espers CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.58 | 30 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!

Among the folk revival wave, called New Old Folk, Pagan Folk or Wyrd Folk, a good deal of the more fascinating groups come from the New World, but is definitely based on the Old World's traditions, even delving into the medieval. Although the roots of this revival dates back from the 90's (and some of Current 93's stranger albums), the movement has only gathered speed after the change of millennium, and along with the Faun Fables, Tower Recordings, Woven Hand (a spin-off of 16 HP), the Vetiver/Devander Banhardt/Joana Newsom galaxy, Six Degrees Of Admittance, and more, comes one of the most stunning group to grace the movement: Espers. This group is mostly the partnership of Meg Baird and Greg Weeks (both part of Tower Recordings), with Brooke Sietinsons as the third full member.

Right from the first guitar arpeggios ridden over a haunting flute, you just know you'll fall into this wonderful world of magic, mystery, angst, beauty, pagan fervour, enchantment and drumless dramatic ballads. If their music has a spooky allure, it will never be downright vicious like on Comus' First Utterance, Baird and Weeks remaining on the poetic but correctly correct side. Espers's music is almost entirely acoustic (if you except the fairly present electric guitars) and hardly percussive (aside chimes and hand cymbals), a very deep haunting dronal ambience music, with an almost gloomy feeling, coupled with Baird's enchanting voice, adding more angst as a result. Overall, it is relatively difficult to pick the tracks apart, because this is a very even album (no weak track) but it is also fairly uniform, because the tracks often sound much like the others. Yet this debut album is very fascinating, even hypnotizing and spell-binding, by its repetitive yet never boring climates where never a shout or even a hair is out of line, the exception being the end of Byss And Abyss Daughter, where the flute (played by Meg Baird's sister) leads the group into an organized chaos to conclude the track. Fans of early Genesis (Tresspass-era) will no doubt love the ambiences present here

Coming with a pastoral paisley khaki artwork, printed on textured waffled paper, fitting well the melancholic, bucolic and eerie ambiance of the album, this album is one of the more striking object of that year, even if it came in a jewel box. No doubt one of the Wyrd Folk movement's better album along with the similar PG Six and sometimes the superb Woven Hand, Espers' debut is a must hear for every proghead that has folk sensibilities

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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