Exposé Online banner

Crystal Jacqueline — A Prayer for the Birds
(Mega Dodo DODO35, 2019, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, 2020-03-26:

A Prayer for the Birds Cover art

With each new release, Crystal Jacqueline solidifies her place as one of the prime current exponents of acid folk. But even aside from genre labels or comparisons with her other work, A Prayer for the Birds is a beautiful album full of great songs that are impeccably arranged, maintaining a consistent mood but shifting around in details in ways that make each track a discovery. The orchestrations are stunning, with acoustic guitar forming the core much of the time, but there are wonderful additions that add different flavors to the individual songs. “The Edge of My Garden” has Middle Eastern percussion and a string section that complement her singing perfectly. “Dorsetshire Days” features some lovely vocal arrangements; “100 Years Ago” has a very nice oboe part in addition to some tasty slide guitar; the kalimba on “First Light” provides an interesting contrast with Indian-flavored strings and percussion; six tracks in, “Arise the Sun” finally introduces some elements of rock for a rousing, jangling psych tune that touches on Jefferson Airplane and The Byrds; and I could go on and on. Not a one of these eleven songs is in any way a disappointment, and the album as a whole is a brilliant example of modern psychedelia. I can’t recommend it highly enough.


by Henry Schneider, 2020-03-26:

Over the past ten years Crystal Jacqueline has grown and blossomed as a singer and musician. Her latest solo album is A Prayer for the Birds, co-written with her musical and life partner Icarus Peel. A Prayer for the Birds is a rock-solid set of eleven acid folk rock songs that hearken back to the heady days of the late 60s. There is something familiar yet undefinable about the music. At times her voice reminds me of Kate Bush, but then as on “Dorsetshire Days” there is some sense of late 60s Judy Collins. And then on “First LIght” she reminds me of Sally Oldfield on Waterbearer. To augment the dreamy hypnotic tapestry of music, her voice is multi-tracked. For this album Crystal Jacqueline is joined by new backing singers Victoria Reyes and Elaine Lightfoot. In addition, Victoria plays oboe and Lizzy Wayne plays flute. Altogether they provide rich colors to the pastoral sonic palette of A Prayer for the Birds. This is music for lying in sunny flowery fields watching butterflies and birds soar in the cloudless skies, while faeries dance on the edge of perception. Though primarily A Prayer for the Birds is Crystal Jacqueline’s album, Icarus Peel and his guitar work shine through from time to time, especially on the title track and “Turn the Tide.” If you are unfamiliar with Crystal Jacqueline, A Prayer for the Birds is a great place to start exploring her world of gothic psychedelic folk.


Filed under: New releases , 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Crystal Jacqueline (Bourne), Icarus Peel

More info
http://megadodo.bandcamp.com/album/a-prayer-for-the-birds

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Van der Graaf Generator - Real Time – Impossible reunions by not-so-spring chickens are now becoming fashionable. This is due in part to both Cream and Van der Graaf Generator taking the live stage the same week for surprisingly inspired...  (2008) » Read more

Henry Cow - Western Culture – Western Culture was originally released in 1978 as the final official album from Henry Cow. This single disc is separated into two 18 minute tracks: "History and Broken Prospects" (written...  (1996) » Read more

Spirits Burning - Alien Injection – Strap yourself in, pull down your mask, we’re headed for the psychedelic reaches of outer space. The crew, assembled specifically for this journey by Captain Falcone, should be a familiar one to...  (2009) » Read more

Chameleon - Luminous Morning – Chameleon is a sort of side project from two thirds of Kundalini, a Swedish jazz-psych-prog-ethnic group which released a CD in 1997 (also on Mellow). Guitars, bass, and keyboards are handled by Arne...  (2000) » Read more

Cluster - First Encounter Tour 1996 – I’m truly listening to live recordings from the nearly legendary inventors of German minimalism on their first tour of America? I’m truly dumbfounded! It was hard for me to grasp that...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues