Distant Havens sees The Foxglove Trio return with their distinctive mix of vocals, cello, and melodeon. Producing atmosphere with alarming efficiency, The Foxglove Trio achieve a more complete sound than a trio should.
The Foxglove Trio’s staple sound is a combination of Mair’s vocals, Mason’s cello, and Dean’s melodeon. The earthiness of the cello and melodeon anchors Mair’s lofty singing. The trio do experiment with other combinations: Distant Havens includes whistles, guitar, percussion, choral and a capella tracks.
Bookended by intro and outro tracks, each roughly a minute long, The Foxglove Trio make use of a novel and interesting device to introduce Distant Havens’ theme of home. The intro draws you in and gives an experiential element to Distant Havens.
The Sheffield Apprentice is a driven and pumping tale of adventure and woe. Mason and Dean’s playing becomes almost dance-like as they exchange the lead, accomplished percussion adding to the tension.
The January Girl, a reimagining of January Man by Dave Goulder, is lovely and delicate, a perfect showcase for Mair’s voice. This time both Mason and Dean play the cello, interweaving their instruments. The strong chemistry between the pair is a prime example of the sum being more than the total of its parts.
The latter part of Distant Havens contains most of the album’s five welsh songs. Ym Mhontypridd, is a beautifully crafted and balanced song somehow both fanciful and grounded at the same time. Si Hei Lwli, sung a capella, is light and delicate freed from the weight of the cello and melodeon.
These are my Mountains, the album’s final full track, is well worth the wait. As The Foxglove Trio explain, many of Distant Havens’ songs are about leaving or searching for home; These are my Mountains reflects that home is often somewhere we return to rather than discover.
The Foxglove Trio have a real and exciting chemistry that allows them to produce a novel and interesting sound. As they continue to innovate they are a band to follow.Christopher C Leslie
Released on Foxglove Records on October 9, 2017.
2. Looking Elsewhere
3. Ym Mhontypridd
4. The Sheffield Apprentice
5. The January Girl
6. Dusk the Day
8. Si Hei Lwli
9. Os Daw fy Nghariad
10. Dau Aderyn
11. Now is the Cool of the Day
13. These are my Mountains