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BlackieBlueBird - A Symphony of Shadows (T&E Records)

7 June 2024

My first encounter with BlackieBlueBird, “Grace & Gravity”, certainly left a lasting impression on me. There was something in their dark seductions, something in the gorgeousness that dripped from the vocals, something in how they seemed to blend the folk and classical worlds, the analogue and the digital, grace and grandeur with groove and gravitas, that was simply stunning. Well, now they are back, after no time at all, it would seem, with A Symphony of Shadows an album where they revisit their own back catalogue, adding beat and structure, orchestral sounds and sonic washes to their earlier, more understated and melancholic sounds.

This is perfect for someone like me, someone who has only recently come to their music. It’s a way of familiarizing myself with their older songs, but I do so through the filter of their more evolved, more recent sound—the best of both worlds.

A Symphony of Shadows is an exquisite sonic journey, one that takes us from the busier yet still brooding opener, “Flying Too Close to the Ground,” through the almost 60s-infused champer pop ballad that is “Sorry Lives Here No More,” and from the ethereal ghost-country lilt of “Sometime Soon” to the shaded and shimmering “Goodbye in July.”

Throughout the album, you realize that what you initially thought was a feeling melancholy was more like a sense of pathos, what you took for sadness was actually nostalgia, and what you mistakenly thought was a haunted atmosphere was more like a dark and delicious ethereality.