Artist: Cinder Well
Label: Free Dirt Records
Release Date: April 21, 2023
Cinder Well present us with a stunning offering of simplistic and stripped back yet highly moving folk with Cadence. The album capitalizes on its emotive atmosphere and stunning vocal delivery to suck the listener in and connect with something deeply personal within them.
Amelia Baker is hands down the star of this show, crooning mournful verses that are equally as moving as they are haunting. Despite the weight that they carry there’s a lightness to them that allows them to skim over the top of the instrumental work. It doesn’t overshadow or drown it out though, rather it relies on these instruments to carry it and lend it additional power. The stories she tells album transcend one lifetime, looking at the dual lives lived by the artist between California and Ireland.
Instrumentally we have a simplistic and yet more than ample offering of guitar, fiddle, organ, piano, drums, viola and bass, not all of which are used at once, but rather staggered and layered. Shockingly much of this comes from Amelia as well, showing that her talents know no bounds. The album expands on the sound of previous releases by bringing percussion and electric guitar into the mix, something that doesn’t always work for music of this nature but is executed perfectly here. The depth of sound achieved by the project is astounding, with tracks such as Cadence or Well on Fire showing just what can be achieved with such a stripped back delivery.
For me the music’s power comes from the harmony achieved by the vocals, fiddle, bass and violin. While all of the elements on the album are powerful it’s the level of emotional depth achieved by these elements that makes the album so captivating. The tone of the fiddle has always been one of my favorite elements of folk music, but when you hear it played over the top of thick rumbling bass it gives it that much more effect.
Overall, I find this to be a stunning piece of music that evokes a deep emotional response in the listener. There’s a melancholic beauty here that’s hard to explain without actually hearing the music, so give Cadence a spin today.
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