Exposé Online banner

Mostly Autumn — Dressed in Voices
(AUT0345, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-11-19

Dressed in Voices Cover artMostly Autumn has been around since the 90s and released a zillion albums during that time, many of which are documents of live shows in their native England, but this is the first time this writer has had the opportunity to review one of their releases. Indeed, I have never even heard any of their earlier material, though I did witness a very exceptional live show by the band several years ago at BajaProg, and it’s one that I’ve not forgotten. At that time the lead singer was Heather Findlay. Somewhere in the interim, she was replaced by the current lead singer, Olivia Sparnenn-Josh, who carries on the tradition most capably. Guitarist, primary songwriter and de-facto bandleader Bryan Josh also shares vocals throughout the fourteen tracks adding some variety which definitely prevents their sound from becoming samey. The band is rounded out by another guitarist (Liam Davison), keys (Iain Jennings), and a very solid rhythm section of bassist Andy Smith and drummer Alex Cromarty. Anne-Marie Helder (Panic Room) contributes flute and backing voice on the final track, and Troy Donockley contributes bouzouki on the standout “Skin on Skin,” and tin whistle on the follow-up “The House on The Hill,” where B.J. Cole also contributes some beautiful pedal steel, reminding me a bit of some of the country flavored songs from Sandy Denny’s solo canon. But make no mistake, this is a solid prog band with some folk and Celtic influences, but the stronger influences seem to be Waters-era Pink Floyd, Renaissance circa A Song for All Seasons or Azure d’Or (not a lot of the classical piano sounds from the earlier Ren albums), and the listener might more than occasionally be reminded of their contemporaries Iona. Dynamics shift from song to song, from subtly beautiful piano and acoustic guitar driven pieces painted with vocals, to powerful anthems – one could imagine the band on stage in front of a house full of swaying fans with their bic lighters held on high. There’s a lot of variety here, which is what keeps this disc energized and interesting from the first measure to the last. Perhaps it’s time for me to explore their back catalog!

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Mostly Autumn

Latest news

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Black Tape for a Blue Girl - The Scavenger Bride – I really wanted to like this one. I’d read about Black Tape, and they sounded interesting: female vocals fronting ethereal, classical-inflected music with a kind of Gothic mood, but not the heavy...  (2002) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues