songdreaming cover

songdreaming

Released

A folk artist who is also a trained survival expert and leads expeditions into the countryside to sing with nightingales, Sam Lee’s relationship with nature runs deep. Mixing traditional adaptations and original compositions, Lee’s fourth album songdreaming explores not only his personal connections to the land and fear of impending ecological disaster, but also the transcendent power nature can have on the human spirit. Lee’s songs are dense with a somewhat wordy vernacular (“where England’s mist lifts from her greening, a curlew croons in delight of this revealing” he sings on “McCrimmon”) and his trilling delivery is firmly rooted in a trad end of the folk tradition, yet the record in imbued with a wild, untamed sense of wonder thanks largely to the song’s breath-taking arrangements, co-written by producer and former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler. Opener “Bushes and Briars” glowers with the dramatic sweep of a Turner landscape, the aforementioned “McCrimmon” is brought to life by a mystic magic redolent of Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, while Lee’s stirring ode to wandering “Green Mossy Banks” rises up with the elemental splendour of Sigur Ros. When it hits its peaks, it’s an awe-inspiring experience.

Chris Catchpole

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