After first receiving acclaim as a playwright for her drama "This Wretched Splendour", Rebsie Fairholm (née Rebecca Wilby) turned her considerable talents to music. "Mind the Gap", her first full-length album, is the richly rewarding result. To get a sense of her music, imagine soulfully sung, psychedelic settings of Celtic folk music, emanating from a soundscape that shares common ground with Brian Eno's "Another Green World" and the twilight dreaminess of Mazzy Star. Fairholm sings and plays keyboards, acoustic guitar, Celtic harp, and electric bass. Other musicians add mandolin, didgeridoo, and uileann pipes to this vital, vibrant marriage of tradition and technology.
Using Macintosh's GarageBand home recording tools, Fairholm began posting her music on the Macjams site about five years ago. This lead to her collaboration with songwriter and mandolin player, William Shaw, with whom--as the duo Revolving Doris--she recorded and released a five-song EP, "Imber". After Doris's dissolution, she pressed on as a solo artist.
Over its 46 minutes "Mind the Gap" contains a surprising diversity of material within an overall aural unity. There are covers of traditional songs, early Pink Floyd ("Julia Dream"), and the Watersons; an eerie narration of Edgar Allan Poe's "Spirits of the Dead"; and two strikingly different originals: the alternative rock-inflected "Leafblower" and the more impressionistic "Round Window."
Bob Dylan once sang of empty rooms "where the angels' voices whisper to the souls of previous times." Rebsie Fairholm's voice and music make the sounds that I imagine echoing through those empty rooms.