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Boomkat Product Review:
This eponymously titled disc is actually the third album by Philadelphian folkists Fern Knight, who led by Margaret Wienk trade in the kind of psychedelic folk defined by their neighbours and kindred spirits, Espers. In fact, Fern Knight's past year or so has been spent as part of The Valerie Project alongside Greg Weeks, who also produces this record. The fact that cellist and singer-songwriter Wienk wears a bit of a Lord Of The Rings outfit on the sleeve will no doubt scare off a lot of people, but Fern Knight's openly anachronistic sound is pretty difficult to resist. Very much under the influence of Pentangle, fusion-based pieces like 'Silver Fox' and 'Hawk Mountain' establish a superior, far more mature take on Wicker Man-influenced folk than so many of Fern Knight's contemporaries, it's just that of all the bands from this school, only Espers seem to be sensible enough to avoid dressing like they're in a Live Action Role Playing club. Despite the slightly insane woodland-dwelling imagery, the band have a great deal to recommend them. The closing three-part 'Magpie Suite' proves especially wonderful: in addition to the group's core sound, another Valerie veteran, Orion-Rigel Domisse joins in with an Arp Odyssey-wielding Greg Weeks to conclude a fairly eccentric, yet ultimately excellent album.