Out of a dreamy mist emerges ornately plucked notes and the heavenly voice of Lucy Roleff. That’s how her album begins and continues over the next beautiful 36 minutes.
Classically trained, the Melbourne songwriter sits in the same haunting, autumnal territory as Nick Drake, Aldous Harding, slow motion gothic country and occasionally the European icy gloom of Nico. It’s a mesmerising combination that sounds otherworldly and timeless as she complements her stories, nylon-string guitar and harp playing with strings, bowed glockenspiel and pump organ.
It’s not all doomy introspection though. ‘Hotel Interstate’ dances lightly across the speakers while ‘How Will I Get That High’ emerges from the more esoteric songs with a directness and flute-driven playfulness. It’s Roleff’s voice that seals the deal, sounding authoritative and quietly commanding as well as fragile and intimate. This is a wondrous album of meditative and transportive folk music.
this review was first published in Rhythms magazine