MOULETTES – Preternatural (Craft Pop Records CRAFTPOP1CD)

PreternaturalI was fortunate enough to hear Moulettes preview some of Preternatural live last year and even more fortunate to grab a word or two with Ruth Skipper after the set. I confessed that, while I loved the band’s sound, I didn’t always know what they were about. With alarming candour Ruth admitted that sometimes she didn’t either! I felt better then.

And so we again dive into the Moulettes’ strange world with their fourth album, which is inspired by “strange beasts”. I’ll say right now it sounds wonderful, big and powerful, multi-layered instruments and voices delivering a real smack to the musical psyche. The opening track is ‘Behemooth’, which has been circulating as a video for a while. It starts with some words from what sounds like an over-excited American film trailer of the 50s giving a feeling of otherness from the off. With two synths and a Moog player in the line-up, the record is awash with strange sounds and it can feel that newest member Raevennan Husbandes is the grounding influence. She plays guitar and takes lead vocal on some tracks and shares harmonies with Hannah Miller and Ruth as well as some percussion.

Ollie Austin’s drums drive the music, giving a solid foundation to the welter of sounds being produced around him – and by him: he also plays guitar and synth. The album washes over you in powerful waves and the lyrics are sometimes hard to pick out, particularly with subjects like ‘Pufferfish Love’, ‘Medusa’ and ‘Parasite’. There isn’t a conventional frame of reference. “I was born curious” is a repeated line in ‘Rite Of Passage’ and it seems to me that it can be interpreted in two ways while ‘Coral’ is perhaps the most straightforward song – “We are the force of nature we cannot control” tells it like it is. The final song, ‘Silk’, is another standout track. I think it’s about spiders.

I really like Preternatural but I admit that I’m several more plays away from fully understanding it. And I will say to anyone who has not yet had the pleasure that there is no substitute for hearing Moulettes live on stage.

Dai Jeffries

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

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Artists’ website: http://www.moulettes.co.uk/

‘Behemooth’ – live studio version:

Moulettes unveil Behemooth video

On May 27th Brighton based collective Moulettes, continue their journey into the alt.pop/rock/folk universe with the release of their most accomplished album to date – Preternatural.

It was in early 2015 when reading an article in the New Scientist that lead singer Hannah Miller first starting thinking about a concept for the new album.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the natural world” says Hannah. “But this article compelled me to look deeper and start exploring all the surreal and beautiful diversity that exists. There’s so many phenomenal creatures out there we thought they deserved their own album.”

Continue reading Moulettes unveil Behemooth video

Moulettes – new album

Moulettes
Photograph by Dai Jeffries

On May 27th Brighton based collective Moulettes, continue their journey into the alt.pop/rock/folk universe with the release of their most accomplished album to date – Preternatural.

It was in early 2015 when reading an article in the New Scientist that lead singer Hannah Miller first starting thinking about a concept for the new album. “I’ve always been fascinated by the natural world” says Hannah. “But this article compelled me to look deeper and start exploring all the surreal and beautiful diversity that exists. There’s so many phenomenal creatures out there we thought they deserved their own album.”

Fast forward to 2016 and the result is Preternatural – an eclectic but cohesive 11 track collection, which marries the thought provoking concept with elements of prog, pop, alt-folk and rock. It’s a beautifully orchestrated piece of work, experimental in parts but still accessible, fusing rich vocal harmonies, persuasive melodies, and elaborate compositions to make a genre defying album that explores the moving gaps of electronic and acoustic; DIY and big production.

Highlights include the epic opener ‘Behemooth’, a heavy, drum-driven progressive anthem inspired by a loud and unidentified sound recorded in the pacific, and electro-rock lead single ‘Underwater Painter’, which explores the way Octopus-chameleons of the sea can switch between camouflage and a psychedelic electric light show. “The solo was recorded in one take” recalls Hannah, “and was definitely a homage to Prince!”

There is currently no video releases for any of the new material yet but ‘Behemooth’ is available to listen to via soundcloud here:  https://soundcloud.com/moulettes/behemooth-singleedit

One of the album’s finest moments, the sublime ‘Pufferfish Love’, drew on recent ground-breaking Attenborough footage of the Japanese mandala-making Pufferfish, whilst the groove-based Art Pop of ‘Coral’ describes the crises facing coral reefs, – “A beautiful illustration of symbiosis between animals, minerals and plants” says Ollie.  Other standouts include the addictive ‘Patterns,’ the ethereal vocals of ‘Medusa’ and the album closer, ‘Silk’ about spiders who pluck harmonics on the strands of their webs to tune them…

“There are so many things to write about,” says Hannah, “Lost love is sad, but a lost species is a tragedy for us all.”  “Presenting your own sort of eclecticism is the aim,” says Ollie. “Zappa, Gentle Giant to current bands like Field Music, John Grant, Snarky Puppy, My Brightest Diamond, Tuneyards, Tortoise etc would all agree. These were all references for the record.”

Moulettes are a Brighton based British band of multi instrumentalists that weave in and out of several genres with 3 part harmony female vocals, amplified Cello, distorted Bassoon, Auto-Harp, Guitar, Drums, Bass and Synths into an incomparable alt.pop/rock/folk universe.  Singles from their eponymous release in 2010 (****Mojo), their follow up The Bear’s Revenge in 2012 (**** The Guardian) and third studio album Constellations (No.7 Indie Charts, Best Album: Spiral Earth Awards) have been played across BBC6 and BBC2 with support from Cerys Mathews, Mark Radcliffe, Mary Anne Hobbs, Bob Harris, Tom Robinson and Lauren Laverne.

Since playing together at school in Glastonbury to residencies on Tin Pan Alley, to a multitude of festivals including Glastonbury, Bestival, Cropredy, Cambridge Folk, End Of The Road and Green Man along with relentless world touring, the band have become renowned for their breath taking live shows. On the way the band have shared both the stage and studio with many well-known artists in Folk, Prog, Pop and Rock, including Mick Jagger, Nick Cave, Seasick Steve, Bonobo, Gentle Giant, Mumford and Sons (Ted Dwane was a founding Moulette), Dave Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Bellowhead, and The Levellers.

Moulettes are: Hannah Miller (Cello, vocals, guitar) Ollie Austin (Drums, guitar, piano, vocals) Ruth Skipper (Bassoon, vocals, autoharp, synths) Jim Mortimore (Double bass, Guitar, vocals) Raevennan Husbandes (Electric Guitar, Vocals, Percussion).

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Live at the Great British Folk Festival last year. Guess where the photograph was taken.

 

Artist’s website: www.moulettes.co.uk

New single from the Moulettes, UCA’s DANCE out on Bonfire Night

Happy Halloween from folking!

The fiery neo-folk-rocker, Uca’s Dance is the second single from the Moulettes’ critically acclaimed album, ‘The Bear’s Revenge’.

The band welcomed back ex-Moulette, Ted Dwane, now of Mumford & Sons to play on these sessions (one of the b-sides, a version of Devil Of Mine recorded in a Manchester church in 2007, also includes Ted’s distinctive double bass-playing as a full-time Moule).

The genesis of Uca’s Dance is quite a story. Moulettes’s songwriter, Hannah Miller conceived it when she was a music-workshop leader at the Most Mira (meaning Peace Bridge) children’s festival in the Prijedor region of Bosnia in 2009. The aim of the festival was inspire artistic creativity in the young participants and build lasting bonds in their community. One night a Romanian fire-dancer, Uca, who was also working with the children, performed a dazzling impromptu dance, and Hannah spontaneously improvised an accompaniment. The song was born.

Continue reading New single from the Moulettes, UCA’s DANCE out on Bonfire Night

MOULETTES – new album ‘The Bear’s Revenge’ release date May 2012

Described as a turbo-charged roots ensemble for the 21st century, Moulettes are an entrancing combination of strings and celestial harmonies; woodwind and weirdness; rhythm and devilry has lead to comparisons with the Unthanks, Tom Waits and Shostakovitch. But, they have a sound and presence very much their own.

Cellist Hannah Miller, bassoonist Ruth Skipper and Ollie Austin (guitar, drums) have been playing and singing together for several years. But with the addition of violinist Georgina Leach and percussionist Rob Arcari in 2008, the Moulettes’ sinewy, melodic sound has come into true focus.

The band have shared stages, recordings, and personnel with the likes of Mumford & Sons (Ted Dwane of the Mumfords used to be their bassist) Mystery Jets, Band of Skulls (Emma Richardson guests on the album), Liz Green and even the Ting Tings – supporting the latter on tour as three-quarters of electro-pop band Modernaire. And they can count the Unthanks, Noisettes and Robert Plant as fans.

In the meantime, their previous album (available below) was described as the most ambitious ‘folk’ album you’ll hear all year (back in 2010). It splices together strands of classical, gypsy, jazz, alt.-rock and even some avant-garde to create a complex yet accessible whole. Highlights include the epic, atmospheric story-song “Devil Of Mine” (which boasts a mind-blowing video included as an extra on the disc); the Zepplin-esque folk-metal of “Requiem” and the entrancing prog-pop of “Wilderness.

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.