I’ve finally got to listen to the long-awaited album by Odin Dragonfly, the acoustic side project of Mostly Autumn’s lead vocalist Heather Findlay and flautist/keyboard player Angela Gordon.
Back in February, I saw Odin Dragonfly live at Fibbers in York. I went knowing Heather and Angie from Mostly Autumn, but without having heard a note of their music as Odin Dragonfly, and not knowing quite what to expect. They won me over within the space of a couple of songs. I saw them again at the Mostly Autumn convention in March, after which I had several of their songs stuck in my head for weeks, notably “Magpie” and “Given Time”. There was something magical about their live performances.
Now they’ve successfully captured that magical sound in the recording studio.
This isn’t the sort of music I normally listen to. Definitely not ‘prog’, and not even rock, there’s not a Fender Stratocaster or Mellotron in sight. It’s 100% acoustic, with just guitar, piano, flute, penny whistle and two voices. But the result is something of stunning beauty. The signature sound is one of sublime vocal harmonies, with plenty of Angela Gordon’s flute, something which has been thin on the ground on recent Mostly Autumn releases. The piano and guitar accompaniment is understated but effective.
Eight of the twelve songs are originals, with the album rounded out with a couple of reworked Mostly Autumn tunes, and a pair of well-chosen covers, including their version of Jethro Tull’s “Witches Promise” with which they normally end their live shows.
Early favourites of mine are Angela Gordon’s piano-led “Given Time”, and Heather’s “Magpie” and “How I feel today”, both featuring wonderful interplay between Heather’s voice and Angela’s flute. Then there’s “Magnolia Half Moon”, a achingly sad breakup song that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on “Heart Full of Sky”, since it has quite a bit in common with “Half a World” both musically and lyrically. But this is one of those rare albums without any real filler, consistant from beginning to end.
You can order the album online from Odindragonfly.com