KIM THOMPSETT – The Hollows (Meniscus Hump)

The HollowsIn case you’re wondering that’s Newgrange on the cover and I had a clever paragraph linking Kim Thompsett’s Irish heritage with her music. Then I discovered that she’s from Bexhill-on-Sea. The Hollows is her second album and her first for ten years.

Kim Thompsett’s music has been described as “fairy folk” and is definitely inspired by nature but is rather more powerful than that description might suggest. The Hollows is the sound of the sixties and you’ll hear echoes of every semii-acoustic band from the era that you can remember. Kim is a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter, adding flute, recorders and harp to her guitars. Lee Igglesden plays guitars, bass and drums but the key player is producer Harvey Summers who provides sampled instruments, synths and effects. The samples are excellent and if you didn’t have the cover in front of you you might ask who played the sitar on the wonderful ‘Strange Garden’.

Marie Milliflore provides the French vocals on the delicate ‘Brocéliande’ a song decorated by Igglesden’s hammered dulcimer and Thompsett’s harp. That’s followed by the folk-rock of ‘Hollow Hill’ with twin electric guitars (Thompsett and Igglesden), Summers switching to bass and a guitar solo from David Kent to top it off. Then we’re back to acoustic guitar and flute for ‘Hollow Tree’.

Finally, there’s the pretty ‘Say It With Flowers’ which surprisingly takes off into a dance tune with crumhorns before ending with birdsong. You may be thinking that The Hollows is terribly fey but it really isn’t. The lyrics have mystical overtones but the playing is strong and full of variety. Let yourself go back fifty years and find your lost youth here.

Dai Jeffries

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‘Child Of The Breeze’ – official video: