Various Artists: Strange Folk

By ANDREW MARCUS  |  May 8, 2006
3.0 3.0 Stars

Strange Folk
GORGEOUS: Strange Folk

Given the hypnotic arrangements and talk of fairies, the 19 tracks compiled on Strange Folk might more accurately be termed “enchanted folk” or, more skeptically, “dippy folk.” Either way, this gorgeous collection attempts not only to define the recent neo-psychedelic folk trend but also to expand it across generations, with cozy, Nixon-era Nick Drake drifting down the same inky stream as knotty, young Joanna Newsom. Espers’s “Flowery Noontide” may be the most exotic track, with its weave of incantatory vocals and flute. On the other hand, the strangest thing about the fairy ballad “The Song of Wandering Angus” is Donovan’s over-enunciated Scottish accent. The best lyrics here are the least strange: “Now That I Know” is Devendra Banhart at his soberest, as he recounts paying his dues in life and love. And Vashti Bunyan’s “Here Before” deals with the indisputable magic of laying eyes on one’s own newborn child.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , Joanna Newsom, Nick Drake, Devendra Banhart,  More more >
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