The Goblin Market — Beneath Far Gondal's Foreign Sky
(Green Monkey GM1012, 2012, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2013-04-01
The Goblin Market is an occasional project of Jeff Kelly and Laura Weller, both of whom are probably better known as members of The Green Pajamas. Their other collaborators are Emily, Charlotte, and Anne Brontë, who provide lyrics for most of the songs. To a certain extent, the whole affair could be considered the product of an obsession with the 19th Century literary sisters, but sometimes obsession can result in beautiful art. The music is largely acoustic, but doesn't shy away from the use of electric guitar and modern keyboards from time to time, and sonically isn't really too distinct from Kelly and Weller's main band, although there's definitely less rock 'n' roll on this side. The Gothic folk base is given an immersive psychedelic sheen, akin to much of what is called Acid Folk, though more lush in production and polished in performance than most. The lyrics are given sensitive treatments, with melodies that suit them and backings that set the mood. The melodies provide unexpected twists, often sidestepping an expected resolution to land on a note that, while outside the chord, works perfectly and heightens the impact. Vocal duties are split fairly evenly between the two; harmonies are sometimes done with same-voice overdubs, sometimes between the two of them. Drums appear on only about half the tracks, providing assurance that listeners don't slip completely into dreamy reverie. It's a work of classic, timeless beauty from a world of its own, where emotions are intense but seen through a gauze of poetic imagery.
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