Magpahi - Magpahi EP (2008)

Genre : Indie,Folk,Experimental

01 - Through The Pine Forest
02 - Spinning Wheel
03 - Clemmin
04 - To Sing With Joy From Out A Sorrowing Heart
05 - Horses In The Night
06 - Friendship

I was already bloody curious for more since I heard Magpahi’s lonely track on the “Bearded Ladies” compilation full of old and new wyrd folk lady birds. Magpahi is the magpie of the ladybirds, is Alison Cooper on vocals, recorders, guitar and harmonium, mostly with participations from Sam McLoughlin from psychfolk band Sam And The Plants (a group which I think also deserves a full release ; I could not even find their 2 EPs yet ; -I only reviewed their demo with these recordings and more on next page-). Alison’s voice, and somewhat also some of her songs, with no doubt is to some degree somewhat Vasthi Bunyan-alike (especially on the lullaby with glockenspiel and guitar, “Horses in the night”). She has this sweet attractive gentleness of a voice, adds old folk-flavours to the songs, works them out well like miniatures, sings them gently like waking-up songs. On “Through the Pine Forest” the guitar sounds very harp-like. On “Clemmin” the harmonium sounds like some sort of automatic instrument (due to recording of the clicking sounds of the playing, -played by Andrew Marshland-), while elsewhere the harmonium is delivering more colouring harmonic undertones, in combination with flute or other instruments. The arrangements are surely done with an ear to harmonies and are well produced and arranged. I wish the lyrics were included, because the songs, even in its relaxed sweet forms, pass very quickly like leaves of roses on the wind. The lyrics on “Clemmin” used an extract from the poem “The Shurat Weaver” by Samuel Laylock (1860) -from which the notes say that this was often sung to the traditional “Rory O’More”-. “To Sing with joy from a Sorrowing Heart” used words by French poet Christine De Pisan (14th-15th century). A beautiful and recommended EP, which I just hope will lead to a full release contract some time later.