Daughters Of The Sky


LP version; 180 gram gold vinyl; Edition of 500. Bamboo, Nick Carlisle and Rachel Horwood, present their third studio album, Daughters Of The Sky. The album was written and recorded over a two-year period where ideas and arrangements were allowed to slow-cook and develop over time, in contrast with the last album The Dragon Flies Away (UTR 088CD/LP, 2017) which came together relatively quickly for the duo. The music comprises the usual (for Bamboo) mix of Horwood's flawlessly resonant folk cadence and Carlisle's pristine synth production, whilst TR808 drum machines and samples lock together with acoustic drums, themselves often given the Tony Visconti, Eventide Harmoniser treatment of Berlin-era Bowie albums. Ancient ARP synthesizers and Mellotron flutes and horns sit next to contemporary digital sounds and samples in a hauntological tapestry over which Horwood can intone her sometimes mournful, often uplifting vocals. Although Daughters Of The Sky breaks away from the storybook concept format of The Dragon Flies Away, in that sense being more similar to Bamboo's debut album Prince Pansori Priestess" (UTR 075CD/LP, 2016), there are still recurrent themes that run through the album such as motherhood, the cyclical nature of life, emancipation and liberation. What might be the centerpiece of the album, "East Of The Sun / West Of The Moon", an 11-minute epic, begins with a serene, desolate ambient intro which eventually transports us over the waves to some unknown land. Bar the brief instrumental coda "Tenebrae", the album ends on an optimistic note with "A World Is Born", an upbeat song of renewal. Horwood sings of the creation of a new world for a new generation, out of the ashes of a society stagnating under the collapsing weight of late capitalism. Saxophones provided by Emma Gatrill answer each vocal line in call and response style over more harmonized drums reminiscent of Bowie's Low (1977). Carlisle originally wrote the music following the death of Bowie, and Horwood added some Prince-like backing vocals. Although her lyric makes no reference to the loss of these giants, their influence hang over the song in a way which can only add to the sense of hope and rebirth, a sense which is indeed felt throughout the album. Cosmic pop, like Kate Bush in Yellow Magic Orchestra.