14 Jan 2015
She Rocola "Burn The Witch/ Molly Leigh Of The Mother Town"
Reviewed by Grey Malkin (The Hare & The Moon)
She Rocola conjure one the most bewitching releases of the last few months with this EP on the fine label, A Year In The Country. Equal parts performance theatre, found sound and folksong (think Tiger Lillies meets the spookiest of Nurse With Wound) these tracks inhabit an especially cobwebbed and haunted corner of the imagination.
"Burn The Witch" begins with urgent stabs and wails of violin and an immediate sense of foreboding. Rocola intones the witches' fate, vocal harmonies layering ghostlike amidst the baroque setting, her voice endlessly repeating "make her leave my mind..." It is a short yet hugely effective piece, a subtle but powerful spell. Inspired by "childhood memories and by formative viewings of late-night folk-horror films from in front of and behind the sofa" this is a hallucinatory and haunting piece of folk noir.
Second track "Molly Leigh Of The Mother Town" is a music box filled shimmer of dread, acoustic guitars casting spectral shadows under the repeated nursery rhyme mantra of the verse. The voice of the witch speaks, intertwining with the sounds of the children's twisted game. It is both utterly unique and completely hypnotic; this is gothic folk like you have never heard before. With shades of Siouxsie and a hint of Maxine Peake (from The Eccentronic Research Council's Pendle Witch themed opus "1612 Overture"), this is music for when the dark falls and there is nothing but the sound of the rain and wind on the window pane. Ms She Rocola herself describes the song as drawing from "her own personal folklore and that of her home town; childhood experiences of chasing her playmates around Molly Leigh's grave and the rhymes which accompanied such games. It is an audiological conjuring of hazy, sleepy small-hours memories and dreams from those times."
Highly recommended, this single comes in the usual high quality and limited edition A Year In The Country packaging; an Owl Light Edition CD with card inserts; a Night Edition with black CDr, a 12 page string bound booklet, 4 x 25mm badge pack and 3 vinyl style waterproof stickers; a Dawn Edition with textured recycled fold out sleeve with insert and badge; a Day Edition with textured fine art cotton rag paper sleeve signed and hand numbered and finally an Arising Edition with a Giclée print. All of which can be found through the Bandcamp link below, as well as a full stream.
Fall under the spell of She Rocola and let her nightmares be the sound of your dreams.