'Lay Of The Land' is a fairytale. It’s a dusty leather-coated book stowed away in the uppermost untouched corner of a ramshackle bookshelf. The brittle pages are ochre with age. Flicking through them, careful of the cracking, crumbling spine, a musty smell of happy times gone by sneezes in the air.
It’s an early 1950’s film. A series of flickering images, hazy and splattered with character, dancing to a silenced upright piano. A gaunt gypsy girl with ebony hair and deep, dark set eyes spinning barefooted on dry and dusty earth, a secret guarded close to her heart.
Down to the artwork, 'Lay Of The Land' is a sad reminder of happy times forgotten. A beautiful tale of a lost essence revived. The light is dim, colours are autumn tones of gold and red and smell is of coal smoke tinged with old dried lavender.
It’s the drawn out violins and distorted guitars, the familiar yet haunting vocals and the warming yet chilling melodies.
With a track listing that floats over folkier, enigmatic moments, including opening track ‘Anglokana’ and single, ‘Glitterball’ before crashing into areas of frantic screaming in ‘SF’ and ‘Forty Nights’, Seachange’s debut really is a fairytale of the darkest kind.
Whether or not the album really captures the bands reputable live show is utterly debatable, but it’s certainly one to inspire the imagination. It’s a CD to listen to alone in a candlelit room; to while away the winter nights and to whisk you off to your own fantasy world. It’s just a shame then, that the remainder of 2004’s winter nights seem to be numbered, for now at least...
7Kate Price's Score