The Dark Peak and the White is a new release from Edale’s Bella Hardy. The album draws deeply upon a sense of place and takes its inspiration from the culture and history of England’s beautiful Peak District.
Local place names and stories feature prominently and Henry and Clara, the title track with its lyric of ’The Dark Peak and the White’ demonstrates this wonderfully well, linking a gloomy tale of moonlight elopement with an evocative description of gritstone and the moors, accompanied by a foreboding instrumental backing.
Throughout the album, the instrumentals and accompaniments are kept to a well judged minimum, allowing Bella’s wonderful voice to take centre stage. Quick paced tracks The Driving of the Deer and Castleton Gypsies are lively and entertaining, while Ilam Lullaby provides a gentle and charming contrast as a mother’s song to a child.
Another standout track is Lament for Derwent Village, which brings vividly to life the sense of loss for the former villagers when their homes were submerged by a new reservoir.
The Dark Peak and the White is an excellent album, confirming Bella Hardy’s star status.Mike Hough
Noe Records at Bella Hardy Music
1. The Driving of the Deer
2. Emmott’s Song
3. The Elegy
4. Fin Cop
5. The Drunken Butcher of Tideswell
6. Lament for Derwent Village
7. The Derbyshire Miller
8. The Ilam Lullaby
9. Bradwell’s Lost Daughter
10. Castleton Gypsies
11. Dain’s Mill
12. Henry and Clara
13. Peak Rhapsody