Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Mellow Candle - Swaddling Songs (1972)

Acid folk, as romantic as the idea may be, is usually pretty hard to listen to. Some of the more well known bands (Silly Wizard, Incredible String Band), while good at what they do, simply didn't make consistent music. So, when I was looking at a record store's collection and found Mellow Candle's "Swaddling Songs", I was skeptical; but the description tagged on to this reissued vinyl made me curious. "This undiscovered gem," it said, "is a true masterpiece of psychedelic folk rock."

"I LOVE UNDISCOVERED GEMS," my giddy school-boy-compulsive-buying-self said. So, I didn't buy it. Mainly because I didn't have the $20 they wanted for the LP. I did, however, download it from the Amazonian rain forest.


The tag didn't lie to me. There are a couple songs on this album that feel dated, a little cheesy, but really it stands up to time. The female vocalist has a good feel for the music, she knows how to sound moody, folky, and even poppy. The musicianship is actually pretty top-notch. Some non-conventional song structures make the album feel fresh, even 40 something years later.

The melodies of the songs weave webs and circles throughout the album, and the recording quality isn't shabby either.

One particular thing about the album, for me anyway, is that it feels very autumnal. Kind of in the same way a lot of Pink Floyd's early stuff does. The mood of the music is often cloudy and cool feeling. Good for a windows-down drive on a tree-lined road in early November. That's how I feel about it, anyway.
Go give the thing a listen.

~ Headshot

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