Stray Light by Emily Scott and the Fell Down Trio is a self-confessed album composed purely for voice and string trio.
This original nine song album features music and lyrics solely by Scott with Rik Evans on viola, Pete Harvey on cello and Kate Miguda on violin. Backing vocals are provided by King Creosote, who’s own newly released album, From Scotland With Love, has been making waves amid the patriotic sporting madness that August has become for us Scots.
Recorded and mixed by Pete Harvey at Pumpkinfield Studio in Perthshire, Stray Light will leave you winded with its sheer depth of beauty and composition.
Scott says of her work that, “she writes odd-ball compositions and makes other people play them”. Far from being the “odd-ball” creation that Scott believes, Stray Light explains itself entirely and is not odd but perfectly right.
Lead track, ‘Archipelago’ immediately strikes you as unusual as Scott’s dulcet tones mixed with the selection of magnificent strings, presents a sound quite unlike any other. Comparisons are hard to find with this record and it is undeniable that this album can not be put in to a box with any one genre. With tracks ‘Hey, Wouldn’t You Struggle’, ‘Pity Me’ and ‘Oh Dear Friend’ all being under two minutes long, it is clear that it is all about quality content and not quantity with this endeavour.
It is an experimental power house that fires in to blow you away and ends just as quickly as it lures you to its clutches.
The stand out track is undeniably ‘How The Moonlight’, as Scott’s voice weaves in to King Creosote’s vocals taking on an almost hypnotic quality as the strings conjure up a mesmerising melancholy.
It is not just the music that stands out in this delightful venture, as the album artwork is equally as stunningly beautiful with a self portrait of Scott where her expression is caught stoic and graceful; just like the music.
Obviously you cant judge a record by its cover, but in this instance the artwork is a subtle preview to how beautiful the music is inside. The entire production of this album reflects each other perfectly with a fluid connection of raw creative artistry.
Described by Scott as a “DIY outfit in every respect”, it is indeed true that some things are best done yourself if you want them to be done the right way.
Words: Katharine Gemmell
I’d just like to add to this that Pablo Clark at inthedarkarcade did that amazing cover. And I didn’t mean that the record was a DIY outfit in every respect, it’s my general operation that is DIY, because I make a lovely list on the record of vital people without whom I couldn’t’ve managed to make it…but! Anyhoo! It’s awesome to get another lovely review, it beats getting no reviews at all by a very very long shot, and there are lots of lovely juicy sentences I can cut out and paste with vigour all over press releases in order to propel the myth. I sometimes think reviewers spend more time editing out quotable phrases than working on meaningful content, but this is becoming a review review, and is that not a good idea for another blog.
In other news. Kate Bush. Arg! Wish I was there, but I couldn’t stretch to unreal prices for limited view seats. I shall fling on her records and prance.