Oh this is just so good - and so disturbing! If The Ring hadn't already been done, this could be the CD that causes strange things to happen! But it is great music, beautifully orchestrated and with lyrics worth listening to. I first stumbled across Emily after series recording this year's Cambridge Folk Festival on Sky Arts and tripping over Sticks and Stones - I cannot remember the last time a piece of music sent shivers down my back (Kate Rusby's Underneath The Stars perhaps). This remains the standout track with Tonguetied for me but I keep changing my mind. My eldest daughter calls it folk channeled by Tim Burton - pretty good description!
My husband is a big folk fan, but I wouldn't describe myself as such. I had never heard of Emily Portman until I heard the song "Sirens" featured on the radio one night (Radcliffe & Maconie show?) while relaxing in the bath and was utterly blown away by it. Extraordinary! It gave me goose bumps... I got straight out of the bath and found the album on Amazon before I could risk forgetting the artist's name. I bought the album for my husband as a surprise but have found myself playing it constantly. The lyrics, the melodies, the arrangements, everything, are quite spellbinding. The title of the album (with its reference to the transformational qualities of magic making everyday things take on magical qualities) is perfectly apt for this album. I LOVE IT. If you like folk music, if you like poetry, if you enjoy traditional dark stories (Grimm etc) or just enjoy listening to pure voices, accomplished musicians and eerie arrangements, you will love this too.
I bought this at the launch gig in March 2010 (and several times since as presents) and I've put off reviewing it since then because any review I write would read something like "Rave. Rave rave. Rave rave rave rave. Rave. And did I mention, Rave?"
The Glamoury is something very special indeed. People who love this album will tell you how Stick Stock is quite the scariest song they've ever heard, and they are right. I've heard from pretty chilling songs in my time - folk song is big on gruesome murder and gory detail when it wants to be - but Stick, Stock is up there. It would be a highlight on any album. Here, it's one of many. Little Longing is bleak and beautiful and... I'm a man and it pulls me in weird ways, I can't imagine how it works on a woman... The silkie songs, Fine Silica and Grey Stone... words fail.
Oh... just buy it. Buy the whole thing. There's not a track here will disappoint and several that will catch you fast and never let you go. You owe it to yourself to listen.
Emily Portman weaves her usual magic with haunting voice and inveigling lyrics. She is her own siren calling us into this beautiful cd - well-named the glamoury, please be sure and carry holy iron or salt with you - you will not come out the other end of the delightful work unchanged.
A beautifully dark and twisted sojourn through a Grimm, pre-Industrial rustic dystopia, peopled with murderers haunted by their victims, cannibals and children buried in the woods. You may have heard these songs before - the plaintive vocals and ghostly harmonies - maybe in a nightmare you had when you were a child, when you first began to sense the strangeness and dangerous possibilities of the world. A unique and compelling collection of songs. Highly recommended.