Band: Barrett Elmore
Band Website: http://soundcloud.com/barrettelmore
Label: Trail Records
Label Website: www.trailrecords.net
Release Date: 2012
Trail Records is a label that is dedicated to bringing us material that crosses over the prog and psychedelic genres. One of their more recent releases is the Swedish band called Barrett Elmore. The contents of their disc entitled Woodlands tends to fall a little more to the Acid Folk side of things with a healthy dose of early psychedelic Pink Floyd. The quartet consists of Claes Mikael Svensson (drums, percussion, backing vocals), Max Karlstrom (bass, vocals, organ, harmonica, synths), Mikaela Erisson (vocals) and William Friman (guitar, piano, organ).
There are 11 tracks on Woodlands, the last of which is kind of studio jam bonus track. Everything starts with the short “Entrance” [1:55] that presents nature sounds leading into the cymbal crescendos and tympani drumming very reminiscent of Ummagumma or Echoes era Floyd. It’s an instrumental with sliding guitar and organ layers that ends much too soon. We move into “The Creek” [3:16] with more forest sounds and similar mid-tempo feel only with acoustic guitar this time before Mikaela’s beautiful dreamy vocals come in. She has a wonderful pastoral quality to her voice and while mixed a little in the back in the sound still cuts through nicely. Most of the songs are in the three to five minute range and many of them feature that spacey guitar styled glissando made popular in the early seventies. Again it’s a song that stops abruptly. The next track starts off with spacey organ pads which then open up to upright piano and the vocals treated with loads of reverb like she’s singing into a well. It creates a wonderful claustrophobic feeling like your right there with the band. There’s a good mix of acoustic and electric feels as well as male and female vocals, even some rather heavy Black Sabbath styled guitar lines on “The Nixie [4:00]. With the liner notes referencing forest spirits and Swedish folklore, I’m not going to suggest the band harbors an affinity for the hippie side of things, but the group photo does seem to speak volumes. In any case their musical approach is quite engaging.
Should you be a fan of the styles I’ve mentioned Barrett Elmore will offer much to enjoy. The bands spacey psychedelic sound seems dateless, echoing all manner of trippy-ness from times past and yet sounding very modern and contemporary. But be careful, once you start listening you may not be able to shut it off, it’s that captivating. Nice work!