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Silent June CD

4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, 22 Feb 2010
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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 Feb. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: No Masters
  • ASIN: B003334SK4
  • Other Editions: Audio CD |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,031 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Product description

Product Description

Stunning debut album from ex-Unthanks pianist, Belinda O'Hooley and Yorkshire songwriter Heidi Tidow. Haunting piano, soaring strings and warm harmonies combine beautifully. O'Hooley is best known for her work as songwriter and pianist with Rachel Unthank & the Winterset (now The Unthanks). Since leaving the band, the stark, haunting piano arrangements she brought to the Mercury Prize-nominated album 'The Bairns' (EMI) have evolved and migrated to her new duo with Yorkshire songwriter Heidi Tidow. These dapper-suited gentlewomen have an unconventional, wryly observant, melancholic and sometimes uncomfortable take on life; creating their very own brand of contemporary folk song together with a stage manner likened to Jo Brand meets Laurel & Hardy. 'Silent June' was recorded between August and November 2009 at Belinda and Heidi's home in Golcar, Huddersfield, mixed and mastered by Neil Ferguson (Chumbawamba). With their voices and the infamous Yamaha U3 upright piano featured in 'The Bairns' (Rachel Unthank & The Winterset) as the core sound, this album unveils the joining forces of two highly original and compelling songwriters. Tracks; 1 Flight Of The Petrel / 2 All Stand In Line / 3 Shelter Me / 4 Banjololo / 5 Spancil Hill / 6 Too Old To Dream / 7 Hiddden From The Sun / 8 Que Sera / 9 Beautiful Danger / 10 One More Xmas / 11 Cold & Stiff

BBC Review

Singer, pianist, songwriter and queen of the droll one-liner, Belinda O’Hooley’s larger-than-life personality played such a significant role in the rise of Rachel Unthank & the Winterset that many doubted they’d survive long without her when she quit in 2007.

They were wrong but, having contributed two of the most emotive songs – Blackbird and Whitethorn – to The Unthanks’ breakthrough album The Bairns, her next move was always going to be intriguing. It is. Now in partnership with fellow Yorkshire singer/songwriter Heidi Tidow, O’Hooley’s gift for a charged lyric, a dramatic arrangement and a compelling tune is undiminished, flowering on two remarkable tracks in particular – Too Old to Dream and One More Xmas. Aside from her incidental roles as lesbian icon and former Annie Lennox impersonator, O’Hooley’s day job was entertaining in old people’s homes and Too Old to Dream is a sentimental, yet still intensely moving picture of faded memories, melded into the old Sigmund Romberg/Oscar Hammerstein II standard and a recording of a Dewsbury care home resident.

If it ever escapes above the radar, One More Xmas might also one day be recognised as a classic. Thoughtful, provocative, yearning and deeply poignant, it’ll resonate with anyone who’s lost a loved one or wilts under grown-up responsibilities, and may just be the best seasonal song written since Fairytale of New York.

Not that the rest should be dismissed easily. All Stand in Line sounds like an anthem of sorts; Flight of the Petrel wields virulent symbolism; and Que Sera is a slowly menacing brute of a song inspired by the execution of Edith Cavell, which also provides the album’s title. If this makes the album sound dark, complex, melancholic and forbidding, then maybe it is. But patience and persistence hold their rewards and there is a throwaway children’s song Banjololo, an unaccompanied Cold & Stiff and a lovely arrangement of the traditional Spancil Hill for variety.

Former bandmate Jackie Oates turns up playing fiddle, and with Anna Esslemont and Cormac Byrne of Uiscedwr adding textures, O’Hooley and Tidow’s considerably weighty material is carried lightly. --Colin Irwin

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28 February 2010
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