acoustic drone Experimental folk review roots world

Sarah Louise – Earth and its Contents Review

Mining for our roots

Sounds like…

Ambience from all corners of the globe.

The review

Sarah Louise makes music that sits awkwardly between two genres. On one hand, she is busy creating rootsy folk motifs from around the world using a variety of instruments. With the hand hand she spirals into artistic drones and synth work. I can’t decide if this dual wielding of musical swords works.

‘Earth and its Contents’ is a 13 track soundtrack initially to a film entitled ‘Fire Underground’ which reimagines coal mining. The music itself is an increasingly more abstract merger of East Coast acoustic guitar ditties into metallic synth drones. The album starts off melodic and rootsy with the excellent ‘That Glow in the Morning’. There are also some nice nods towards acoustic drones like ‘Wordless Chapel’ and its raja-drones.

Sarah Louise

Quickly the album bends towards increasingly more atonal drones. These are synth led and get progressively more metallic and churning over time but didn’t really connect with me personally. They grow in their sharpness until the final couple of tracks pick out a burst of quietness. The opening idyllic guitars return. They feel more like wandering noodles than structured riffs and patterns and they are played from afar. ‘Mist Rises Above the Blue Grass’ is a particular stand out.

The problem for me is that the melodic sections are too short and meandering to gain pace and as I have no visual source material to connect them to, they feel a bit lost as a collection too. Sarah Louise has a massive array of instruments and clearly knows how to write a tune. The stop/start of melodic/drone simply didn’t connect with me no matter what instrumentation was being used. This is possibly because I’ve come to Sarah Louise’s work as a fan of her grass roots folk music and therefore found the synth drones detracted from what I wanted. Maybe others will enjoy it better.

Recommended track: That Glow in the Morning

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Sarah Louise - Earth and its Contents



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