23 Nov 2011
Candidate - Nuada - Obscure Classics
Great albums you may have missed.
Candidate - Nuada ( 2002 )
The Wicker Man is a classic cult UK horror film, influential enough to spawn it's own genre - folk horror, and star Christopher Lee reckons it's the best film he's appeared in - and he's done a few over the years.
Now, I know I'll lose a few of you when I say this, but I've always found the idea of the Wicker Man soundtrack to be much more appealing than the actual music.
Don't get me wrong - in the context of the film itself the music works perfectly, but as a stand alone listening experience Willow's Song is the only track that's ever really done it for me. That hasn't stopped me from buying the soundtrack numerous times, thinking that maybe I just hadn't been ready for it with my previous attempts, only to be disappointed every time.
So why would I buy Candidate's album Nuada, an album based on the Wicker Man and said soundtrack?
Maybe I hoped that this would be the album I'd always hoped the official soundtrack would be? Or maybe the film just holds such appeal to me that I have to grab everything I find even tenuously linked to it.
Whatever the reason, this is a great album which manages to perfectly capture the underscored sense of menace that the film captures so perfectly and so uniquely. Like the original soundtrack the material on here is written to evoke traditional english folk song but Candidate succeed in capturing that hint of a sinister, ritualistic paganism lurking just beneath the surface.
Soundwise think Gravenhurst or the Beta Band at their most pastoral.
Fans of Broadcast & The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age should investigate this too. It couldn't be more different musically, but manages to capture that same elusive atmosphere.
I think the real secret of Nuada's success is that Candidate are fully aware that they're writing for a very niche audience. Writing an album's worth of material based on a cult film is not the action of a band looking for mainstream acceptance and like the film itself this feels like it was made to be treasured by a small group of devoted fans, rather than draw the attention of the masses.
Sowing Song, Rain on the Roof and Beautiful Birds are timeless songs that sound like they've been part of the folk tradition for centuries.
Highly, unequivocally recommended to folkies of an adventurous disposition.