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 June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Tipico" CD/LP/Track Review Tipico
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "You and I" CD/LP/Track Review You and I
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 19, 2016
Read "Rumba Con Flores" CD/LP/Track Review Rumba Con Flores
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 15, 2016
Read "Magia" CD/LP/Track Review Magia
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 6, 2016
Read "(Five) Stories Untold" CD/LP/Track Review (Five) Stories Untold
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "Live! from the Cantina: A Star Wars Jazz Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Live! from the Cantina: A Star Wars Jazz Tribute
by Jim Olin
Published: March 6, 2016

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!

Buy it!