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Here's the debut album from Leeds-based trio Mordrake, the only band to have filmed a music video right here at Norman Towers (while we've been here at least). Fronted by former Asa Hawk Katy Raine, this lot deal in sad and simple country/folk/gospel stylings full of gently plucked acoustic guitars, soft breathy vocals and robust harmonies, with occasional touches of tasteful cello and harmonica f ...

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REVIEWS

Every Shadow Is A Ghost by Mordrake
3 reviews. Write a review for us »
8/10 Mike Staff review, 08 July 2014
Here's the debut album from Leeds-based trio Mordrake, the only band to have filmed a music video right here at Norman Towers (while we've been here at least). Fronted by former Asa Hawk Katy Raine, this lot deal in sad and simple country/folk/gospel stylings full of gently plucked acoustic guitars, soft breathy vocals and robust harmonies, with occasional touches of tasteful cello and harmonica filling out the sound.   There are nine songs on this CD; six penned by the band themselves, two with other people's words - Dewey Temple (don't worry, Google doesn't know who he is either) and the late great feminist poet Maya Angelou - set to Mordrake's own music, and also a slowed-right-down cover of NOFX's paean to fast music '13 Stitches'. I think they're at their best when they're at their most cautious and fragile, such as on 'She Can Give You What You Need', an earnest and plaintive ballad with a melody that's somewhere between Tears For Fears' 'Mad World' and David Gray's 'Babylon', swelling from a single fingerpicked guitar to a sweeping lament of soft strumming, weeping cello and brushed drums.   The economical simplicity of their music works to their advantage, framing the tracks in a shuffly sadness with shades of Leonard Cohen, Ella Guru and Drugstore's downbeat comeback LP 'Anatomy'. 'Every Shadow Is A Ghost' seems like a very human record, with occasional flashes of uncertainty in the harmonic interplay between the singers. I like the bare-bones arrangements with the more ambitious vocal parts, since it really pushes the harmonies to the fore. Pretty stuff.

9/10 Ross Holloway Customer review, 8th August 2014

A definite for fans of Cowboy Junkies or Gillian Welch, or even NOFX, who they cover in a folk Americana style.

The female voice is tender, the male voice gruff, the harmony vocals quite lovely. They make the most of sparse guitars, economical percussion and some cello, but it's the strength of the song writing that stands out. Seriously good.


8/10 Terry Winman Customer review, 11th July 2014

I haven't actually heard this album yet but I have heard many of the tracks from it via live shows, radio play and MP3s. Your reviewer captures something about Mordrake that I feel is really important. There are few Leeds bands playing this kind of sad, fragile, human music. Leeds has become such a clique-driven scene in some ways with endless students, hipsters, professionals and wannabes picking up the obligatory guitars and hanging around in each others flats and studios. Its getting kind of dull.

This doesn't mean that Mordrake are the finished article or even that they're better than some of those bands which wouldn't be fair. But they are a bit different.


VIDEO

Mordrake - Purity Hall (Song For Carothers) - YouTube

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