It seems slightly wrong to be able to download a Fern Knight song. The Philadelphian quartet led by Margie Ayre make the sort of beguiling, elegant music that very much belongs to the physical world – though not necessarily this one – rather than the digital domain. Indeed, it’s a little disappointing when their press releases do not arrive exquisitely scribed on parchment or vellum. Still, it’s this juxtaposition of arcane and modern that has inspired Margie to pen the band’s fourth album, Castings, a song cycle partly exploring how the ancient divinatory art of Tarot, and the archetypes contained therein, relates to present day society. Recorded in an old gothic mansion in Pennsylvania’s famous Brandywine Valley, it seems to be a richly orchestrated palimpsest of their previous work, a fortified version of their distinctive Anglo-Celtic influenced arrangements.
Fern Knight describe preview track ‘The Poisoner’ as a pop song, by which I can only assume they simply mean that it has a verse-chorus-verse structure. It’s hard to imagine Lady GaGa writing a song in which “the protagonist looks both to the past and the future to try to make sense of her slowly eroding community by following a mysterious dark leader to the truth.” A ridiculous comparison, I know, but this epic, taut and complex song has me somewhat lost for words. The medieval banquet lies below in all its incongruous MP3 glory, together with another song from Castings, ‘From Zero To Infinity’.
Also, take a peek at Margie’s super-cute homemade flask cozies for sale through the Woodland Bop collective. Made with recycled fabric, vintage buttons and trim, she’ll even make one to your own specifications.
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