Exposé Online banner

Mellow Candle — Swaddling Songs
(Si Wan SRMC 0021, 1971/1993, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, 2015-04-23:

Swaddling Songs Cover art

McLatchey's Top Tier #18

This album was created by a very young band, which is amazing when you think that nearly every song on it is flawlessly executed. It's a perfect example of the way gift and naivete can be intertwined, you have two astoundingly amazing vocalists who probably were in their teens or barely out of them delivering terrific perfomances, not just in each individual sense, but as a collaborative as well. In many cases you can hear Clodagh Simmonds in one channel and Alison Williams in the other and I've played this so many times that I've spent time just listening to each line and the way the two combine when they're both singing. This could be the premiere folk rock item of the early 70s, it's not as wild and abandoned as First Utterance but it's intensely beautiful, with some of the finest ballads ever put to record. I often wonder if the reason I took to this is because I instinctively recognized one of the vocalists from another amazing album, which just happens to be the one I'll tackle next. Anyway this is one anyone should hear, it shows how youth and precociousness can easily trump maturity.


by Mike McLatchey, 1993-10-01:

I think this one may have been repressed again, since I have seen many copies poke their heads out recently. This album in my opinion is the pinnacle of English progressive folk a la The Trees, Fairport Convention, and Spriguns. This band has two excellent lead vocalists; one of them, Clodagh Simmonds, went on to be one of Mike Oldfield's early vocalists (check out Ommadawn for a good example of her style). Both singers are simply outstanding, counterpointing each other (or themselves depending on the tracks) to incredible heights. There isn't a duff track on here, and is an ideal one to turn the non-progressive rock fan on to some new music as it is quite accessible. A flawless classic.


Filed under: Reissues , Issue 1 , 1993 releases, 1971 releases

Related artist(s): Alison O'Donnell, Mellow Candle

More info

Latest news

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

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Waldteufel - Sanguis – Waldteufel is the German duo of Markus Wolff (primarily vocals, drums, and percussion) and Tyrsson Sinclair (other instruments, vocals, etc.) and this is their fourth full-length release. Their music...  (2008) » Read more

Glass Hammer - The Inconsolable Secret – One could arguably claim that this release finds American prog band Glass Hammer at the top of their game, which probably explains the scope of this effort. First of all, it s a two-disk set in a...  (2006) » Read more

Matthew D. Guarnere - M.D.G. – Guarnere is a singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist operating in areas between classic and progressive rock. Playing most of the instruments himself, he brings in other players on bass, lead...  (2002) » Read more

The Ancient Veil - The Ancient Veil – Imagine the following sonic configurations: voice, acoustic guitar, alto recorder, fretless bass, and tabla; accoustic guitar, soprano sax, tenor recorder, oboe, double bass, and cymbals; a full choir...  (1996) » Read more

Humi (Hugh Hopper / Yumi Hara Cawkwell) - Dune – Humi is the duo of Hugh Hopper (electric bass, electronics, loops) and Yumi Hara Cawkwell (voice, piano, keyboards, percussion) working in an ambient improvisational avant-garde jazz space. The...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues