Greetings! Please find the newest studio album by Sand Snowman for review and airplay*.
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Q: How do you build a Wooden Horse? A: Trees. Sand Snowman’s sound hearkens back to a time when people used the word “hearkens.” It is possible that this faerie acid folk is made by actual faeries, with the beautiful lilting harmonies and subtle progressive diversions that only small, winged beasties can perform properly. Gentle, with an edge; sitting atop the same cloud as the more mystical Bunyan, Perhacs, or even Bob Trimble compositions. Quiet, but lush with crisp acoustics leading hand percussion and other exotic instrumentation to the sea shore. This is truly an incredible string band, whose jaw-droppingly beautiful album will hopefully have new initiates seeking out the group’s several previous releases. Beware, however, as playing this album may result in a bad case of Green Men.
As an artist, Sand’s sound and vision is that of musical hide and seek, things seen peripherally, memory, not being here, light, spaces & shadows, vision quests on public transport, trances in shopping queues, time as a playground, hugging monsters, riding the outskirts of one’s age. Ingredients are acoustic guitars, piano, bass, electric guitar, organ, drums, percussion, mandolins, recorders, sitars, xylophones, vibes, violin, voices and miscellaneous found, treated and accidental sounds. Many will see the Sand Snowman as a continuation of a tradition which began with artists like the Incredible String Band and Nick Drake, and which continued through into Syd Barrett’s finest moments. They may have a point. For years, Sand Snowman has spent a quiet life in the heart of London, countering the harsh noises and hectic bustle of this strung-out metropolis with miraculous albums of mysteriously quiet music. His first three full-lengths, released in strictly limited editions and vanishingly small print runs, established a musical cosmos filled with bright wonder: in the best of psychedelic traditions, Sand’s songs did not fearfully seek for an escape from reality, but subtely twisted its parameters to create delicate shifts in perception. The way in which Sand segues completely independent songs into coherent, interrelated suites may indeed be comparable to the techniques of others, but he is following in no one’s tradition but his own.
File under: folk-pysch, wyrd folk, prog-folk-psych
Release Date: Oct. 31, 2010
1 hemlock garden
2 one summer
3 an evening in the fall
4 what’s your poison?
5 nostalgia ever after
7 between eternities
8 the city sleeps
9 to the flame