Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Yaga Sunet: A Cut Through The Heart

Jack Gold-Molina By

Sign in to view read count
Yaga Sunet are a duo from North Somerset, England, whose music is rooted in traditional English folklore and heavy psychedelia. Featuring vocalist Zoie Green and guitarist Ben Balsom, this album is powerful and moving through to its transcendent final chord.

From the opening of the first track "Long Gone," as Green sings, "The sun sets in the mind, can't you feel me sinking, another place, another time," the listener is transported to an earlier age. Balsom accompanying her cello-like with an ebow, the music is vivid in its imagery. Balsom's acoustic guitar playing is at times simple and at times dark and complex, following Green through chasms and currents as though transitioning through underground streams. During "The Sun Moves," Alan Davey, Green's band mate in the stalwart space rock quartet Eclectic Devils, joins the duo playing bass on this track only. As Green sings, "The sun moves through the flowers, like blades in the sky...down from the ocean, down from the sea," the imagery feels cold, as though viewing a late autumn or winter's moon.

"Reeds" begins with Balsom's slow finger picking. As his picking gets stronger and increases in tempo, Green vocalizes, singing almost outside of time, "Where are you now, where have you been? The rain pours hard and you know that he won't rest...a child is alone in the night...." On "Grass," she sings, "Kneeling in the grass there were five, blades in their hands, held up to the sky, they're friends of mine with blazing eyes...I know you're not dreaming, you're not seeing what you look for, it's a shame." Lyrically, Green seems at home in her natural place in the world. At the same time, she sounds furious at what has become of her native land. Green doesn't yell or scream, she states her point elegantly and poetically, vibrant with spirituality, conveying her message of beauty and inner strength.

The fable written in the booklet tells of a young girl who leaves her village to be on her own in another land, one that she was warned in stories passed down by her ancestors not to venture to. The people of this land, when confronted by those who seek to take everything from them, perform a ritual that gives them immortality. The wind begins to blow, shaking her newly found home, and the people of this land as well as those seeking to do them injustice, become like sand and are carried away.

This is a beautiful story, and it feels as timeless as the folklore that it is rooted in. Green's singing is as natural as the wind that carries the spirits of her ancestors, and Balsom's guitar playing is like the rain that gives their songs life. Music that is performed with this kind of honesty and emotion is rare, and it is one of the intangible things that truly matters in this world.

Track Listing: Long Gone; The Sun Moves; All Has Turned; Yaga Song; Reeds; Grass; In The End

Personnel: Zoie Green – vocals and piano; Ben Balsom – acoustic and electric guitars, banjo, ebow, drum

Title: A Cut Through The Heart | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced


comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Day to Day Album Reviews
Day to Day
By Paul Naser
May 24, 2019
Read Theia Album Reviews
By Jim Worsley
May 24, 2019
Read Ain't Nothing But a Cyber Coup & You Album Reviews
Ain't Nothing But a Cyber Coup & You
By Dan McClenaghan
May 24, 2019
Read Nexus Album Reviews
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 23, 2019
Read The Second Coming Album Reviews
The Second Coming
By Daniel Barbiero
May 23, 2019
Read Luminária Album Reviews
By John Sharpe
May 23, 2019