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THE SHEE Decadence

Shee Records  SHEE2

There is a term feminine cadence in the lexicon of music that might serve as an appropriate term for this brilliant female sextet. On this second album, following the acclaimed A Different Season (2008), there are over 11 very cleverly arranged pieces, including many of their own compositions. They provide a widely sophisticated and appealing melange of folk and Celtic inspired music with jazzy syncopations and classical precision. With three of the band offering distinctive lead vocals and wide instrumentation (flute/whistle; fiddle; electro-harp; fiddle/viola; mandolin; and accordion), they have evident musical skill in depth and Duncan Lyall’s production captures well the tightness, fluency and wide dynamic range and textures of their music.

Rachel Newton’s electro-harp is a critical element to the band offering many interesting and distinctive qualities – delightful harmonics, deep, rich rhythms and warm bass tones, and some lovely interplay with Lillias Kinsman-Blake’s flute. Just as the Poozies (an evident inspiration) and Bachue’s music was, for me (whose wedding reception…alright, I confess…benefited from a Camac electro-harp), taken to a further dimension by this lovely instrument, The Shee benefit greatly from its presence. Amy Thatcher’s accordion playing too provides an important array of bass and middle frequencies extending the layering and depth of their sound. On top, the fiddles and flute skate, skip, surge and soar.

Amidst the huge amount of good music emanating from the Folk firmament, this band have the invention, innovation and intelligence to stand out from the crowded scene and further to evolve and thrive in producing thoroughly imaginative contemporary music.

Kevin T. Ward

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This album was reviewed in Issue 87 of The Living Tradition magazine.