As Jackie Oates mentions in the liner notes, there is something eccentric about this record. But that is what makes it her best record since her first, eponymous album--which had an unpretentious faithfulness to traditional song that was inventive without being slick.
The great thing about "Saturnine" is that it has a similar respect for traditional music while still being a really weird record. Honestly, it just arrived in the mail from the UK, and I haven't figured out what makes it so odd. There's something off-kilter about the arrangements, but there's nothing particularly modern about them--no synthesizer, contemporary song covers, or rhythym inherited from the singer-songwriter world that shows up on a lot of folk records.
It does have a lot of unusual percussion that makes the record a little dissonant. Mainly, I think the arrangements just have a slightly perverse sensibility. It reminds me a little bit of _The Devil's Interval_ for that reason, even though it doesn't sound anything like "Blood and Honey".
Anyway, I'm sure I'll be listening to it all through our long upstate New York winter. My first impression is that it's one of the more beautiful and original records I've heard in quite a while. Plus, it has the usual brilliant fiddle-playing.