I specifically asked to review The Frozen North because I was interested in the concept put to me as “a collection of traditional songs by Sheffield based duo Loreley. As a project with the aim of exploring archives of mostly forgotten folk songs in order to breathe new life into then with a variety of new tunes and arrangements completely composed by Loreley themselves” – Interesting!
I quote Loughton Folk Club In Essex, “The most dramatic performance I’ve ever seen at a folk club”. I have to assume that ‘Loreley Live’ is more exciting then ‘Loreley recorded’ Maybe I am missing something but I can only describe this CD, The Frozen North, as interesting.
Tracks one and two are sung at such a speed that I could barely make out the lyrics, despite several listens. I was especially disappointed to be told that track three, ‘Storm In The Holy Ground’, referred to Cobh in County Cork. It has always been my belief that the ‘Holy Ground’ as sung originally by The Clancy Brothers was an Australian song about a brothel, possibly in Cobh.
Track four is an instrumental, ‘The Blinky Set’. I am afraid the musicianship does not match up to the standard necessary to compete in the current instrumental scene. I have to say that I am confused by this entire album because I would not consider Maddy Glenn as a great vocalist either so, all in all this is a very specialist CD that may appeal to a particular type of fan. Maybe they are a better ‘live’ act.
Unless I am honest in my reviews then they would have no value. I did not enjoy this CD. It is slightly ‘bonkers’. Loreley claim that they would use “mostly forgotten” material but ‘The Oak And The Ash’, ‘The Snows They Meet The Soonest’, ‘Ilkley Moor Baht’at’ and ‘High Barbaree’ are still heard regularly around folk venues.
Their rendition of ‘Ilkley Moor Baht’at’ is the low of the CD but the track, ‘High Barbaree’, The high point. All of this is, of course, only my opinion and I am sure Loreley fans will enjoy the CD and Loreley themselves would not have released the CD The Frozen North unless It achieved what they were aiming for. I do like the cover, simple but lovely.
Artists’ website: https://loreley.bandcamp.com/
‘Blow Northerne Wynd’ – the single: