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Parabola West - Hannah (self-released)

20 April 2022

I probably said as much when talking about the gorgeous single “Calling Your Name” but Parabola West makes folk music in the same way that Kate Bush or Natasha Khan make pop music and if you don’t know what I mean by that, then giving her latest single, “Hannah”, a spin should clear things up for you.

Yes, it is folk music but it is folk music forged from both music and magic, a realm where ambient electronic sounds subsume traditional folk sounds but sound no less gorgeous for doing so. A place where the folklores and traditions which have always been kept alive in such songs give way to high fantasy. A place where the rawness of reality is doused in stardust to create otherworldly and ethereal music. Folk ditties from the Tuesday Night Folk Shindig in the back room of the Kebab and Calculator pub this is not!

This is music that is chiming and charming, understated and subtly delivered, which is elegant, not to mention eloquent, which plays with folk traditions and then both brings them starkly up-to-date and yet also suggests sounds from an alternate pre-history for this, or perhaps some other parallel, world.

If folk music is going to stay relevant then it needs to embrace such forward-thinking, such makeovers, such evolution within the genre, no matter how much the “folk police,” those bearded guys (often called Brian) with a pipe, a cable-knit sweater, and a ticket to the next Fisherman’s Friends gig in their pocket, complain.

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