tremblingbells

‘The Sovereign Self’ opens with a vocal so pure, strong and high it’s almost startling – prefacing a song infused with drama, shreds of trad folk, in places a vaguely eastern feel and in others slices of expansive seventies rock. It’s something of an epic, medieval tapestry of richness. Only Trembling Bells could be this bold and get away with it. They’re an oddity, a band unselfconsciously out of time and place, and in this otherness lies their appeal. ‘The Sovereign Self’ is an album of richly realised, multi-part mini-epics, almost operatic in design, if not in style.

Few other bands could conjure the gloriously ludicrous line “Lou Reed and Lauren Bacall defeated Asterix the Gaul on the Cornish coast”. ‘Killing Time in London Fields’ is akin to Moon Duo on amphetamines, ‘Bells of Burford’ sounds like it could soundtrack some kind of debauched courtly gathering in the sixteenth century, while ‘I Is Someone Else’ is a strange fusion of Fleetwood Mac and Iron Maiden. This is a fantastically vivid album.

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