Seven years after their previous release, one of the most acclaimed duos on the British folk scene, Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow are back with their new album Cloudheads. Recorded between London and Halifax, it is crafted as a highly individual reflection on their lives and inspirations.
This album is in fact a delicate dive into the world, the passions and the mindscapes of two gifted autistic women, a patchwork of images from dreams, memories or visions, punctuated by tales delivered with profound storytelling talent and refined instrumental passages. The whole album sometimes feels like a stream of consciousness, a very individual way to introduce the most intimate and poetic part of their souls to the listener.
From the dainty Worn Out and Full of Wonder to the lyrical title track, from the inspirational The Ballad of Anne and Ann, inspired by the story of Anne Lister and Ann Walker, to the beautiful Chimneys, Moors and Me, probably the most striking track of the album, they show their mastery in blending their voices, creating memorable harmonies and guiding the listener to the discovery of something personal and unique. The arrangements are in line with their previous work, forming part of the mesmerising effect of the entire release, especially thanks to the majestic piano playing.
The versatility of these two women is apparent from the ease with which they switch from dramatic to serene atmospheres, another factor that makes Cloudheads the most remarkable work in their career so far.Michele Mele
Released on 21 April 2023, recorded at Dean Street Studios, London, and at Peel House, Halifax
1. Worn Out and Full of Wonder
2. Little Crumb
3. The Song Thrush
5. Peel House
6. Matthew and Ted
7. Chimneys, Moors and Me
8. Woman in Space
9. The Road to Monalea
11. The Ballad of Anne and Ann
12. Fiacre Ryan