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

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ray Charles - Ô Genio Live in Brazil – Not long after releasing one of the signpost LPs of modern pop crossover, Ray Charles took his big band to Brazil and filmed two television programs featuring his live stage set. Charles was just as...  (2005) » Read more

David Cross Band - Alive in the Underworld – Ex-Crimson violinist David Cross has been pretty consistently refining his post-Crimson ideas for the past ten years or so. It’s no quantum leap to expect him to take his message literally to...  (2009) » Read more

The Feck - The Feck – The Feck is a four-piece from Milwaukee, and while no instruments are listed with the names per se, it sounds like we have two (or three) guitars, bass, and drums/percussion operating in that...  (1999) » Read more

Hoppy Kamiyama - Juice & Tremolo (The Works of Chamber Music) – After having released the last real Ruins album in early 1998 (the incredible Vrresto featuring a new bassist and even more craziness), this young French label issues another true masterpiece, in a...  (1999) » Read more

Hugh Hopper & Richard Sinclair - Somewhere in France – Voiceprint is still hard at work unearthing half completed projects and one off collaborations of which Somewhere in France fits nicely. Caravan and Hatfield vocalist and bassist Richard Sinclair had...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues