Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Laura Gibson "Beasts of Seasons" (2009)
One of the aftereffects of the "freakfolk" trend of the early part of the decade was the liberation of folk musicians from a rigid template of songwriting and arranging. It became ok to have long songs without the traditional structure. It became ok to use electrified instruments to arrangments.
"Beasts of Seasons" takes advantage of this liberation. On the opening track, "Shadows on Parade" you hear subtle electric instruments in the background adding tension to the organic sounds mixed up front. The song itself is over 7 minutes long (take that Peter Paul & Mary!)
This all succeeds because Gibson doesn't allow herself to drift off into some totally freeform space that ignores the tradition. There are still strong traditional bones to the piece that carry it.