Since folk music proliferates in times of social and political turbulence, it should not come as a surprise that the genre has grown steadfastly in recent years. On the Celtic and old English end of the folk spectrum, such music has retained poignant storytelling elements, so intimately knit into its fabric, while introducing layers of new influences. In the case of Britain’s mystical folk music heroine Kim Thompsett and her new album ‘The Hollows’, the result is nothing short of spectacular. With music that is sometimes minimalist and sometimes as a musical tapestry as lush as the Hobbit’s Shire is green, Thompsett’s vocal clarity and charisma is starkly beautiful and audacious. This is pure, mesmerizing and magical, exploring themes that are rooted in nature, mysticism and the arcane.
For this album, Thompsett worked with Harvey Summers at Broadoak Studios in Bexhill, East Sussex, who handled recording, mixing, mastering, and production. Summers is well known for his work with Sir Paul McCartney, Daniel Lanois, Moby, Steeleye Span, Pentangle, Ellie Ford, Danny Thompson (Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Nick Drake, Pentangle), Hossam Ramzy (Peter Gabriel, Led Zeppelin), Cutting Crew and Divine Comedy, among others.
“The Hollows” is the long-awaited follow-up to ‘Songs from the Uglee Meadow’, her debut album, released in 2008. ‘The Hollows’ evokes an archaic atmosphere and nuances of Celtic and medieval times. At the same time, it branches out into a more experimental and eclectic idiom with a more diverse range of instrumentation and more sophisticated production. Songs celebrating ancient connections with forest, with earth, with the sky, and with water – the shedding of ego and an immersion in the universe. The music itself is most reminiscent of the English folk of the ’70s with a few other genres for good measure. Think Loreena McKennitt, Pentangle, Kate Bush, Sandy Denny, Mediaeval Baebes and Jacqui McShee.
“I wanted to make an album that was primarily something I would enjoy listening to. If other people like it too, that’s great. Having come to fruition some ten years after the debut album, I wanted to ensure it was a natural progression from the previous work and that the songs were manifested in the fully-developed compositions that only the songwriter can hear during the creative process,” says Thompsett. She has been writing songs and performing, both solo and with various bands, for around 20 years. Her music has attracted a niche following of primarily pagan and traditional folk music fans with a penchant for nature and literary references.
Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath, and Paul Giovanni (The Wicker Man soundtrack) number among her musical influences, as do Circulus, Gong, Pamela Wyn Shannon, Beck Sian, Hexvessel, Cara Dillon, The Strawbs, Fairport Convention, Les Derniers Trouveres, Omnia, Priscilla Hernandez, Pentangle and Steeleye Span.
Four years in the making, “The Hollows” album is being released on CD, vinyl and digitally via Meniscus Hump Records. Here it is!!!
Also, you should watch this amazing short film created to accompany Kim Thompsett’s song Moonchild’s Lullaby. The artwork especially commissioned and created by Gary Williamson is magically brought to life by the prodigious skills of British animator James Wright.
Keep up with Kim Thompsett
Written by Mike D.