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The Blood Choir: Dartmoor (EP)

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We’ve got a good knowledge of music but we’ve never heard of The Blood Choir. This EP is billed as “an object of pure fable among Blood Choir fans”; its four tracks comprising a “long-rumoured collection”, initially recorded between 2007 and 2009, long before the band’s 2012 debut album No Windows to the Old World.

No entry on Wikipedia but two of the inevitable five-star reviews on Amazon. One cites live shows in the south-west, so maybe all their fans are down there.

Still, it’s interesting and powerful music, although stylistically it’s varied: imagine Nick Drake touring with Led Zep as his backing band. The opener is Dartmoor, a delicate folk song that’s the opposite of twee, with gentle vocals and picked acoustic guitar. It reminds us of acoustic Rush.

Script Girl follows, the guitar replaced by piano and gently sung vocals before it picks up, first with strings and stronger vocals and then drums and electric guitar. Black Eyed Dog is next, and after writing the line above, this really is a cover of a Nick Drake song with Zep-style guitar and riffage behind it.

The EP ends as it began with tightly played guitar and Lay With Me Awhile, which is somewhere between Rush and Genesis. Good enough that we bought the album No Windows to the Old World and it’s powerful stuff: maybe a little dated, but fans of Low and shoegazer-ish bands of a decade ago, those that favoured grungy guitar strumming and droning bass, might like it.

This is out via The Blood Choir’s own label, Village Recordings.

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