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Hoelderlin - Hölderlins Traum CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.09 | 160 ratings

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4 stars Classic dreamy prog-folk from Germany.

When I first heard this album I thought instantly of the Brit-folkie classic "Just Another Diamond Day" by Vashti Bunyan. Vashti's album is a more stripped-down affair than this one but the spirit and the beauty of the simple music is quite similar. Holderlin takes the basic template of Bunyan's classic and adds a touch of hippie rock to the folk music. The acoustic guitars and lovely, delicate vocals that make up the basic framework here are adorned with bass, drums, flute, cello, organ, and mellotron. The result is some of the dreamiest and sublime folk rock you've heard, to my ears much better than what I heard from Trees. All vocals are in German but don't let that stop you.

"Waren Wir" begins so beautifully with violin and acoustic guitar, enter the soul stirring singing of Nanny DeRuig. After the introduction the song changes a bit and we get a fairly snappy beat over mellotron with flute improvisation. In the middle of this section some male spoken vocals briefly intrude. Strange opener. "Peter" has a very traditional folk music sound and this one reminds most directly of Bunyan's album. The pleasant vocal melody carries the song over acoustic and bouncy bass. "Strohhalm" is another fairly traditional folk song with sitar, tablas, flute, and male vocals this time. "Requiem" injects some tension with the nervous violin in places and is considerably more dramatic in mood. Some room is allowed for a string solo in the middle. Make sure to watch the cool live video we have of this track on the site or on YouTube. "Erwachen" has a flute solo for an introduction, very nice. After a short pause the song continues with piano, acoustic guitar, and nice vocal. A bit of cello comes through now and again. "Wetterbericht" starts with two acoustic parts and Nanny's fragile childlike singing. The guitar work sounds simple but is actually quite well thought out and trance inducing. "Traum" continues the meditative picking of the previous track but soon adds some hopping percussion, flute and violin. The pace is much more upbeat here and would make a great track for some of that free-form Deadhead style of dance. The violin and bass interplay gets fairly crazy towards the end and then fades.

Essential for fans of our folk prog genre. The album cover is perfectly fitting. The music of Holderlin's Traum is like a dreamy summer afternoon flitted away in a meadow. When I listen to this at work it makes me want to turn off my computer, walk out the door, and drive to the country. Music like this could cost you your job. Oh well, life is short. I really encourage fans of this album to hunt down Bunyan's "Diamond Day." It's every bit as good as this although much sparser and without the proggy touches. 3.75 stars.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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