US - California - Full Moon 194 - 07/03/12
Gift for the End
Almost Musique / Whale Watch Records
Said to be 'a mineral album', being 'psychedelia on the native folk
roots', Gift for the End made me curious to check it out. The
album is also described as
being '...a canyon crisscrossed by paths leading Joni Mitchell's, Neil
Young's and Bonnie Prince Billy's (whom she recorded Bonnie & Mariee
EP with, released
by Spiritual Pajamas earlier this year) souls into a deep world music,
mystical and ancestral...'. Mariee Sioux is musically related to Joanna
Newsome, but other names
dropped count Townes Van Zandt, Cocteau Twins, Enya, Kate Bush, Neutral
Milk Hotel, Linda Perhacs, The Pentangle, Jackson Browne, Nick Drake.
Quite a diverse bunch of
Gift for the End is Sioux' second album, following Faces in
the Rocks (Grass Roots Records, 2007). Mariee Sioux is an American
folk singer, and her name
seems to be rooted in native America. Despite of this she is the
daughter of a mandolin player of Polish and Hungarian descent, and her
mother is of Spanish, Paiute, and
Indigenous Mexican descent. Sioux' songs circle around in the air, as
they're balanced on her mild, sweet and fragile, yet intricate voice,
and elegant finger picking
guitar playing. Some additional instrumentation is discreetly added, the
arrangements are sober and to the point. The guest musicians are (almost
entirely) close friends
and family members. Sioux' partner Sean Kae has arranged and produced
the album, as well as playing traditional folk instruments with
psychedelic effects, analogue synths,
electric guitar, and adding multi-layers of vocal harmonies.
Opener "Homeopathic" is quite fascinating, and is a good example of
how a Sioux song is built up like, spins around in various movements,
and unveils new layers. "Old
Magic" is a warm and pleasing song, more of the traditional kind.
"Icarus Eye" is one magical little melody, and "Tule" ends the album in
a wonderful way.
Gift for the End is a timeless beauty for all seasons. The
label's description/depiction is very accurate: "...a sunset
album that gives the mind room to wander, wonder, and relax."
Copyright © 2012 Håvard Oppøyen