Hollie Kenniff was once one half of the duo Mint Julep with her husband Keith Kenniff, who was also known for his involvement with Helios and Goldmund. The Gathering Dawn is her debut solo album and finds the Canadian-American musician at the centre of sprawling ambient work made from icy synths, softened guitars, and Kenniff’s mournful vocals.
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So Hollie Kenniff, if you didn’t know, was the better half of the Mint Julep duo with her hubbie Keith. Sorry, Keith. As much as I adore alliterative names. That’s a very Olde English Thing, by the waye. Here though, in the midst of this shimmering-yet-icy, sprawlingly expansive work of ambient chill is a collection of individual tracks as interconnectedly compact-as-ya-like.
Tracks which are named so as to follow each other with a dreamy wend and flow, reflecting the music itself. So we have ‘Soft Pulse’ - ‘The Gathering Dawn’ - ‘So Good and Wild’: a haiku by song-titles. And, after a fashion, here’s another; ‘Field Edge’ - ‘Nearly Every Day’ - ‘Home Will Follow’. I mean, who needs Basho? (Japanese Edo-era poet, died 1694 (Wiki though)).
Similarly, sparkling synths, gleaming guitars and Hollie’s sighing, cooing vocals bleed and blend into each other to make one fantastical, immersive and otherworldly journey. Reminds me a little of Julianna Barwick, this. So pack your cushions, your blankie and a thermos -- we’re going on a road trip! Oh, and bring headphones. No excessive words required.
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