Brighton’s Carrie Tree has previously received high praise from none other than Carly Simon, and on new album Home To The Invisible that praise is proved to be well deserved.
Recording took place in both England and South Africa, where sessions with, among others, Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s Albert Mazibuko resulted in the glorious single Mama Kita, which features traditional African instruments such as the kora, nyatiti, djembe, endingidi, and also cello, fretless bass, guitar and percussion. It’s a joy to hear the song build as the instruments and various gorgeous harmonies are added to the guitar and vocal beginning.
It’s a subtle, unhurried album, with depths that reveal themselves further with each listen. Opener Never Said Goodbye is a delicate and devastating lament, while Perfectly Cast and Wild Winds are joyful treasures with melodies that enchant and vocals that penetrate the soul. It’s folk music that isn’t afraid to experiment, and like all good records has a timeless sound to it – don’t try to place it in space and time, just let yourself be carried along on a heavenly journey.
One of the most inspired covers in recent years appears in the shape of Portishead’s Glory Box. Perhaps best known for its sample loop from Isaac Hayes’ Ike’s Rap II, here it’s stripped down to an acoustic arrangement, with some haunting strings and Carrie’s breathy, passionate vocals.
As final track Unfolds reaches its conclusion it’s hard to resist pressing ‘play’ and listening to the whole thing again. An impressive record. Carrie’s been a popular name on the alternative scene for several years, and it’s surely time for wider recognition.
17 March 2014.
Wild Cedar Records.
Never Said Goodbye, Mama Kita (video below), Glory Box.