Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Crystal Jacqueline - Rainflower


Crystal Jacqueline sort of magically floats through the English psych and prog rock scene as a vocalist for the bands The Honey Pot and The Green Question Mark, while her solo work has been released on the Mega Dodo and Fruits de Mer indie labels. She sings about fairies and witches within arrangements that vary from medieval to space age. On her latest release Rainflower, which will be released as a limited-edition180g LP and as limited edition digi-pack CD by Mega Dodo on May 25th, Crystal Jacqueline performs a mix of covers and originals produced by her fellow Honey Pot member and bona fide eccentric Icarus Peel.

Most of the tracks on Rainflower feature poetic lyrics by Peel that describe both the enchantment and dangers existing within nature. “Strange, the darkness never bothered me before,” Crystal Jacqueline sings on the slow and ominous “Again... Dragonfly,” and later asks “Can’t you see I yearn to drift away from all of this?” “Mary Waiting” opens with nothing more than her pristine vocals and the buzz of flying insects before morphing into a shimmering, orchestral arrangement. A cover of Pink Floyd’s “Grantchester Meadows” is steeped in pastoral folk music but features percolating synthesizers along with acoustic guitar.

The title track, “Water Hyacinth,” and the epic finale “Winter Deep/Dress Of White Lace,” find Crystal Jacqueline and Peel opting for a more delicate approach that still exudes an air of mystery. A version of Status Quo’s “In My Chair,” which only appears on the CD, and “Daisy Chains” are fueled by energetic guitar and synthesizer instrumentation. Throughout all the tempo and style changes on Rainflower, the lure of Crystal Jacqueline’s ethereal and often layered vocals remains consistent.

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