3

Gwyneth Herbert: The Sea Cabinet

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Gwyneth Herbert: The Sea Cabinet The Sea Cabinet is singer-songwriter Gwyneth Herbert's sixth album release, her first since All the Ghosts (Naim, 2009). That album's Herbert compositions drew comparisons with such iconic British songwriters as Ray Davies and Paul McCartney—comparisons which were spot-on but for the crucial fact that Herbert unfailingly sees the world from a woman's point of view—while the elasticity and phrasing of her vocals were rightly likened to Joni Mitchell.

As its title suggests, The Sea Cabinet brings together a dozen songs which are linked to the sea in various ways. Most of them are new, with only the fragile beauty of "Lorelei" recurring from the 2009 album. While not exactly a concept album, The Sea Cabinet centers on the imagined story of a woman who walks the beach every day alone. Consequently, it has a consistency and unity of sound and tone which mean that it hangs together well. Herbert's music has sometimes been labeled folk-jazz, but of this album she herself says she would "put the record on the shelf marked bluesyfolkypoppyjazzystorysongs."

Herbert wrote most of these songs while on an artistic residency at Aldeburgh Music on the Suffolk coast, a time when she took midnight, seaside walks, visited the drowned village of Dunwich and made friends of the local fishermen. Such experiences permeate the resulting songs, several of which could be taken for traditional folk songs rather than new compositions. Imaginative settings and accompaniment prevent the songs from sounding too folky and add variety—in fact, that half-serious description from Herbert successfully sums them up.

Those already familiar with Herbert's music will be reassured to know that The Sea Cabinet continues the rich vein of form she has displayed on her recent albums; those not yet familiar with her can start here without fear of disappointment.

Track Listing: Sea Theme; The Regal; Sweeter; Alderney; I Still Hear the Bells; Fishguard Ladies; Plenty Time for Praying; Drink; The King’s Shilling; Promises; Lorelei; Drip; Sea Theme Reprise.

Personnel: Gwyneth Herbert: vocals, piano, ukulele; Fiona Bevan: vocals, guitar, piano; Al Cherry: guitars; Sam Burgess: bass; David Price: percussion, strings, piano, programming, backing vocals; Harry Bird: guitar, clarinet, piano strings, backing vocals; Christophe Capewell: fiddle, accordion, piano, melodica, backing vocals; Tom Allen: trumpet; Ollie Parfitt: Moog; Jack Carr, Alex Carr, Robert Harder: additional mob chorus; Will McVay: chain; Brian Herbert: gramophone operator.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Monkeywood Records


Shop

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Endemic Ensemble: Tangled" CD/LP/Track Review Endemic Ensemble: Tangled
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Apprentice" CD/LP/Track Review Apprentice
by Alex Franquelli
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Better By Far" CD/LP/Track Review Better By Far
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Goat Man & The House of the Dead" CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Twin" CD/LP/Track Review Twin
by Fiona Ord-Shrimpton
Published: April 6, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!