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 ‘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.