Mike McLatchey    20-Jan-2001 Swaddling Songs

Irish group Mellow Candle's only album (until the outtakes album ) is one of the most re-pressed progressive rock albums of all time, having had an original Japanese issue, a Korean, a British (the most affordable and current), and also a limited edition LP-cover release in the British Rock Legend Series. This album is the very pinnacle of English progressive folk-rock a la The Trees, Fairport Convention, and Spriguns, and one of the clear masterpieces of the era. This band had two outstanding female lead vocalists; one of them, Clodagh Simonds, went on to be one of Mike Oldfield's early vocalists (check out Ommadawn for example). Both singers counterpoint each other (or themselves depending on the tracks) to dazzling results carrying each of the album's twelve tracks along by their sheer prowess. What is particularly amazing is that some of the music was written by Simonds when she was very young, including one of the album's most amazing tracks, "Lonely Man," written at the age of 12. One wonders if such a wondrous display of musical serendipity will ever find it's way so strongly to a folk/rock fusion again. Surely this is one of Ireland's most mystical potions.

(Originally published in Expos #1, p. 10, Edited for Gnosis 1/19/01)

Sjef Oellers 24-Feb-2001 Swaddling Songs

Swaddling Songs is a superior folk rock album on par with the best of Fairport Convention or The Trees, but with a stronger piano presence than either bands mentioned. In my opionion Mellow Candle have a less traditional and more diverse approach on the style than Fairport Convention. A classic of the folk rock genre.

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