Boomkat Product Review:
Skin-prickling, sublime folk experiments from Laura Cannell, following a gorgeous collaborative series beside Kate Ellis with her first solo album since 2020
The uncannily attuned, multi-instrumentalist improviser draws upon a deep reserve of talent, imagination, and inspiration from the natural world for ‘Antiphony of the Trees’, calmly modelling and projecting rustic soundscapes and the life of birds thru a patented electro-acoustic matrix of FX. There’s a keener focus on almost dub-wise processing here, with flighty woodwind gestures given feathers and found in sing-song call-and-response on her quietly rambling journey between ‘From The Raven’ to the nocturnal wheeze of ‘Awake from your Feathered Slumber’.
Left to her own devices after proving to be a consummate collaborator with Kate Ellis, among others, Laura finely transmutes osmotic observations of her native Norfolk’s endless flatlands, teeming with natural life, into these animistic creations. Piece to piece she subtly describes and evokes her subjects, with swooping, sustained woodwind used to limn ‘For the Sacred Birds’, and again more hushed and secretive in ‘For the Hoarders’, while taking that aesthetic to its sparsest with the funereal enigma of ‘For the Mythos of Birds’. Her arrangements are most precise in the haunting title tracks, which appears like our avian friends chattering at dusk, while Laura’s underlying interests in folklore and magick are characterised in the paranormal theme and quietly possessive results of ‘Th Girl Who Became an Owl’.