Sunday, 2 December 2018

Mystery Spring - Meet Me At The Weather Station

Treehouse Orchestra Recordings 2018

01 Meet me at the Weather Station
02 Relative Comfort
03 Cinematographer
04 Bedsit Disco Queen
05 The Reformist
06 Mind the Chaos

Newest and final release of 2018 from Treehouse Orchestra Recordings.

Mystery Spring is Marc (Brocken Spectre, Nightowl Sings) and Catherine (Shipcote and Friends). Their second release sees late night dark folk with psychedelic electronic croon.

Here's a review by David Thompson from our blog Treehouse Orchestra Recordings.

"Following on from last summer’s splendid debut album from Mystery Spring, Marc and Catherine present a 6-track EP that’s a total delight from start to finish and that, at a shorter length, perhaps holds together in a more satisfying and organic way than its predecessor.

Maybe it’s just the time of the year, but a couple of tracks here feel quite Christmassy to me, while the whole record radiates a warmth - like a mug of hot chocolate or a nip of the strong stuff - that is just right for the dark nights and the chill that’s beginning to take up residence in the air.

That’s not to give the impression of cosiness or to suggest that this isn’t a collection for all seasons. To the contrary, the songs here are all very strong and evocative and, at just shy of a 20 minute running time, it’s a record that’s just right for a listen at one sitting all year round.

The title track and opener gets the EP off to a low-key beginning. It’s an intimate and atmospheric number, with a whispered lead vocal from Marc, suggesting secrets being shared and giving the whole track a feeling of gentle mystery.

“Relative Comfort” is folky pop with Catherine’s lovely voice up front. It’s an infectious sing-along number, like something that might have popped up on Cherry Red Records in the mid-80s, but essentially it’s a classic Marc love song about a couple who are head over heels and out in the open air – perhaps hiding from everyone who can’t understand how they feel and might just get in the way (or break the spell).

“Cinematographer” is evocative of early ‘80s post-punk from its very title to the woozy Farsifa feel and cryptic lyrics while “Bedsit Disco Queen” is a lovely piano-led ballad with more than a touch of “Another Green World” Eno. The latter was recorded in one take and has a title borrowed from the memoir by Tracey Thorn (another Cherry Red artiste - the clues are building up, but maybe they’ll lead us nowhere in the end).

“You’re no reformist and I doubt I can be reformed”. And so “The Reformist” spins another esoteric yarn amid a reflective countryish piece with keening violins and crisp acoustic guitar, courtesy of Ste Benson (who also does the honours on “Relative Comfort” and is the only performer on the record other than Marc and Catherine).

Closing track “Mind the Chaos” is, despite the title, not really chaotic at all, but rather gently off-kilter and subtly disconcerting, while never being less than  perky and charming. It has an almost classical feel to the instrumentation (with a touch of the fairground) and the spirit of Jeffrey Lewis (and also perhaps Syd Barrett) lurking somewhere in the background. It is a song that sounds as if it’s being made up as it goes along, looking for either resolution or blissful oblivion, while not forgetting to ask important questions such as “where can I get free shoes” and “which colour will you choose”?

“Meet Me At The Weather Station” is a delightful concoction – a beguiling blend of voices, acoustic instruments and understated electronica (superbly mixed by Mr A Popple) -  that never outstays its welcome.  In fact, I would very surprised if you didn’t want to play it again as soon as it finishes – I’ve listened to it at least 5 times while I’ve been writing this review and I’m still ready for more. After all, doesn’t everyone need free shoes?"

Extremely limited compact disc and free download available from our Bandcamp.

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