• James Harvey

Album Review - Away from Mountains - Kerry Devine - 2018

I’ve decided to stay put in the Fens for the next album review. Simply because the talent coming out off or inspired by them, is damn well amazing right now. So, let’s have a look at Kerry Devine, with her debut album, ‘Away from Mountains’, inspired by, you guessed it, the Fens.

A ten-track album coming from the opposite end of the folk spectrum, this time, ‘Away from Mountains’ is a mix of psychedelic and experimental folk, along the lines of Lykke Li, Snow Mantled Love and Sigur Ros. While similar, Kerry Devine, does manage to create a unique sound in the process that none of the aforementioned bands have.

Starting out with ‘Charleston Town’, Kerry, quickly sets the dreamscape sound that defines the album. Her vocals mesh perfectly with the spaced-out music, so much so it all fits together so very well, it really does make it hard to tell her voice from the instruments. Not in a bad way, mind you, you can hear and understand everything she sings, it just fits so well.

While ‘Lines in the Landscape’ continues the same form as the previous track, ‘Work You’ takes on an almost 80’s electro-trance style that wouldn’t be out of place on the soundtrack to ‘Blade Runner’ or other neon noir films of the time.

© Kerry Devine

‘Ariel’ again changes the pace but not the flow of the album; starting like rain drops failing on a misty field, the haunting vocals seems almost detached from the world around them. Without a doubt this is not only one of the most beautiful tracks of the album but of the last few years that I’ve personally heard.

‘Away from Mountains’, the title track of the piece, is not only of a faster pace than those previously but a multi-layered song that demands the listener's attention to its complexity, in contrast to those that came before, which, had the listener drifting off into the world Kerry was creating for us.

‘Holme Fen’ and ‘Not Telling You’ bring a more recognised style of folk to the album. While not wholly traditional, it does blend well with the more progressive flow of Kerry’s work. It also helps to change the pace of the album again, while not breaking the overall feel or mood of everything that has gone before.

© Kerry Devine

‘Vehicle’ starts to twist back into the more psychedelic trance folk before heading full steam into ‘Fools That Fall’, a peaceful piano driven song with another beautiful vocal performance, it reminded me a little of Kate Bush’s early work.

The album finishes with ‘Closed Roads’, flipping back to earlier sound and pace, it’s a haunting finish to an incredible debut album.

Kerry Devine’s ‘Away from Mountains’ is not going to be to everyone's liking, saying that however, it is hard to find a single song on that album that anyone wouldn’t want to listen and explore more than once.

As I mentioned at the start, while it is more inline with bands like Sigur Ros (even a little of My Dying Brides’, ‘Like Gods of the Sun’ album, and there is something I never thought I would compare a folk album to!) than the so called traditional folk sound, Kerry, finds an identity of her own on the fringes of the folk spectrum and it’s well worth your time to join her in the journey she has embarked on.

You can get the album on Amazon ~Music and other streaming services now. More information on her website.

© Kerry Devine

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