I wonder if she can remember the time she played in Shipley? Here is a song cycle of 18 new songs by the Spain based singer songwriter. Here she self produces and accompanies herself on all kinds of instruments including guitar, piano an organ on an album exploring themes of morality and mortality. Which you do when you've been to Shipley.
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I don't know why I find the idea of Josephine Foster playing a gig in Shipley so amusing. She's just such an exotic sounding creature and Shipley ...well... it isn't. Faithful Fairy Harmony is a lengthy 18 track trawl through what it is she does, So much Foster that even her most ardent fan will be looking forward to a nice down to earth trip to Asda afterwards. Her voice is quite the thing, a muffled wibble which wanders hither and thither sounding like it was recorded in 1947 and on opener 'Soothsayers Song' finishes on a note high enough to smash the windows in the local Spud Hut.
She uses a variety of instruments the accompany her from autoharp to vintage piano to soft plucked acoustic guitar to organ. All of which play second fiddle to seemingly wordless vocal meandering. She's saying something here but at no point do I know what it actually is. From time to time she shows neat songwriting ability 'Benevolent Spring' shows some nice chord changes on the autoharp and some really effective vocal harmonies as she entwines her voice around each other.
It's interesting when she does something daft like the country-ish lollop of Force Divine where pedal steel matches with jaunty acoustics and a quite ridiculous vocal melody. Cheery Foster is quite the thing it seems.
I'm tempted to give her a higher score for being so resolutely herself here but the caveat is you are going to have to love what she does implicitly to get through it. So much Foster - mountains of it. But unique...and that's a good thing.
9/10 Mar 27th February 2020
I adore this album.
Melodically and poetically rich. A treasure chest!
People will discover this classic eventually.
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