With this writing gig, one is never sure what will arrive on the desk. How about this? An album of shipwreck-inspired songs recorded on the Cornish coast by a folk-based, Celtic-rock band from Sweden?
From Gothenburg, Sweden, West of Eden has been releasing albums since 1997, but Safe Crossing served as my introduction to the band. Fronted by the songwriting and lead-vocal team of Martin and Jenny Schaub, the sextet features lots of fiddle, percussion, guitars, and other stringed instruments. The music is fabulous, very inspiring and interesting. Like an album from The Chieftains, the instrumentation is outstanding, and there are elements of Wolfestone, Solas, and especially Boiled in Lead flavouring this mix.
What sets West of Eden apart is the magic of the Straub’s voices. Everyone in the band sings, but the lead vocals bring these vivid stories of doomed ships and their crews to life. All are destined to crash on the rocks of the Scilly Isles, but the story of each journey, of each life chronicled through the band’s imagination, is the true attraction.
True Celtic soul. From Sweden!