Words: Laura Turnbull | Header Image: Courtesy of C F Sherratt
It was this time last October when I first discovered Frances Pylons and I’m pretty sure none of us that night – crammed into the tiny bar, sheltering from the grim mizzle outside, waiting for our fill of Open Mic sounds – were prepared for that voice. Full of strange depths and eerie high notes, straight out of the earth but completely unearthly, this songwriter has a yodel that could fell trees. A whole forest is shaking somewhere right now as ‘Haemorrhaging Light’, Frances Pylons‘ new album, surfaces.
Inside this set of experimental folk songs is a rattling cupboard of skeletons, blood and bone. Perfect spook-season listening. Like the opening lines of ‘Horse Bone, Sundew, White Wool, Thorn’, “here in the gut of the night” is exactly where ‘Haemorrhaging Light’ takes a seat and speaks from. Love songs, folklore and old wives’ tales. But as the album title suggests, it’s not all darkness. These songs feel like words you share under moonlight over firelight. If you go down to the woods today…
Enchant your ears:
The twisted chords and rattling strings that ‘The Lillies’ spirals into mid-way through its gentle outpouring play out that contrast between light and dark spectacularly. A ten minute deep dive into the bewitched world of Frances Pylons, it’ll have your arm hairs levitating. But save some goosebumps: the ghoulish howls of ‘Vase’ are gonna linger in your cerebrum well past this album’s end.
‘Haemorrhaging Light’ is magical. It’s Sylvia Plath lyricism over a Leonard Cohen waltz. It’s totally beyond us how these songs can sound so soul-shakingly somber but feel so playful, but somehow Frances Pylons has mastered the trick. We would gladly sit in the dark with these songs for days.
‘Haemorrhaging Light’ is available to listen and download here: