Friday 21 December 2012

Abagail Grey - Snowflake Remember EP

EP review by

There are plenty of songs about summer, yet when it comes to songs about winter there's always the cynical urge to bolt on some sleigh bells and turn them into Christmas records, because Christmas sells. Why make so many songs about that particular subject? Yes, for many people it's the major celebration of the year so it deserves some musical recognition but it passed the point of overkill years ago. So we take our woolly hats off Claire Campbell, who under her alias of Abagail Grey offers up a wintry EP of songs with none of the cliches and all of the warmth. Being from Inverness she knows a thing or two about the bite of the cold that can hit hard as the days grow shorter, and on this EP, produced by Belle & Sebastian's Chris Geddes and Tony Doogan, she sings a beautiful tribute to this time of year.

'Snowflake Remember' is a very reflective EP, almost a step back, pause and look at the world around you, especially on 'Winter' which is the surprise package here, bursting into life halfway through with a flurry of strings, piano and drums. It's a momentary departure from what is otherwise a maudlin and wistful set of songs that are often toned down, as on the pretty piano ballad 'Bee' or the delicate baroque-pop of 'Starling'. The animal theme continues with 'Robin' where the instrumentation and structure are both allowed to become more playful. It's 'Beauty' that's the icing on the cake though, its title encapsulating the song. With one of the sweetest melodies you'll hear all year and lyrics that are also dealt with in an impeccably thoughtful way, it's as comforting as a wee dram in front of a roaring log fire and beats any other seasonal release this year hands down.

Abagail Grey's website

Buy the EP

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