DANCING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE - REVIEW OF 'THE HOLLOWS'
Dave Franklin, Dancing About Architecture, June 2019
Reviewing the luscious Woebetide Hill recently was the perfect excuse, not that I need much of one, to break out the long and lavish words, pop my verbose hat on and really take the thesaurus for a spin around the block. My only concern is that having done so, do I still have enough words left in the literary arsenal to do the album justice without repeating myself too much. Ah well, whose paying that much attention anyway and those that are will probably forgive me. The Hollows is one of those albums that demands that you get clever with the word play, I don’t think that you can really do justice to such rich textures and deft sonic weaves with the sort of words that you would use to nail down a mainstream pop band or get to the heart of what a bunch of run-of-the-mill rockers are banging on about.
Take Soul Song for example. Anything that comes on like a little known mid seventies Tull track, wanders into the subtle pastures where the likes of Kate Bush might frolic…oh yes, she was a frolicker…cocoons itself in almost classical meets Mediterranean acoustica and is then content to drift around on the breeze, is hardly going to be happy with the label “catchy.” Similarly, the aptly named Strange Garden, takes some unpicking, a real 70’s acid folk tune; part psychedelia, part pastoral pop, part eastern vibes, part Summer of Love wig-out yet still holding on to the spirit of traditional folk at its core.
And when Kim and the gang feel like rocking out, they do so effortlessly, Hollow Hill being a brooding, bruising folk rock opus, one that grooves on raw guitars and big beats, that both kicks arse and cuts the mustard. The lilting, lullaby that is Woebetide Hill has been the perfect first single and calling card for the album, and Moonchild’s Lullaby is set to be the next, a wonderful blend of that re-imagined medievalism and more contemporary folk lines that the post rock and roll Ritchie Blackmore was so fond of.
All too often singles released as a sonic sign post for a forthcoming album prove to be the best bits; how often have you bought an album on the strength of one song and been disappointed? Exactly! Well, the two singles off this album are more akin to reading the blurb on the back of a book, it might sound intriguing, different and totally to your taste but get inside and you will find that that was only the start of the adventure and great as that blurb is, the novel itself then shoots off in all sorts of brilliant, well-crafted, imaginative and unexpected directions. Actually forget the tortured analogy, if you liked the singles, you’ll adore the album, it’s as simple as that.
Mike Dimitriou, Noise Journal, May 2019
KIM THOMPSETT SPINS A WONDERFUL CELTIC-MEDIEVAL WEB ON “THE HOLLOWS” LP
Since folk music proliferates in times of social and political turbulence, it should not come as a surprise that the genre has grown steadfastly in recent years. On the Celtic and old English end of the folk spectrum, such music has retained poignant storytelling elements, so intimately knit into its fabric, while introducing layers of new influences. In the case of Britain’s mystical folk music heroine Kim Thompsett and her new album ‘The Hollows’, the result is nothing short of spectacular. With music that is sometimes minimalist and sometimes as a musical tapestry as lush as the Hobbit’s Shire is green, Thompsett’s vocal clarity and charisma is starkly beautiful and audacious. This is pure, mesmerizing and magical, exploring themes that are rooted in nature, mysticism and the arcane.
PEEK-A-BOO MAGAZINE - THE HOLLOWS - "wholesome and addictive" *95/100!!
Folk music is an art wrapped in a shroud of acoustic mystique, rarely focused on in the current climate of pop projected-vibes which dominate the airwaves. Luckily, with troubadours such as Kim Thompsett, folk music is being re-shaped and given a transcendent vision for the twenty-first century. With the aid of fusion, electronic-samples, synthesizers blended with acoustic instruments, there is something special within her methods.
Her latest release due May 31st, The Hollows, is the long-awaited follow up to Songs from the Uglee Meadow. Kim’s hauntingly-tender debut album, released in 2008 to acclaim across the spectrum of both folk and alternative music.The Hollows is an addictive, spirited adventure, woven over ten-tracks that are wholesome and addictive. Although inspired by celtic mysticism, this factor does not overwhelm the overall sound or even impact. This is perfectly displayed in the single “Woebetide Hill”. A sixties-psychedelic piece, which drops into a haunted world with the dreamy-haze that is Thompsett’s vocals. Indeed, “Woebetide Hill” is an ageless track which is hard to pinpoint into an era or even genre, but music this good doesn’t necessarily need to be, just inhale its splendor.
Visit this release with the expectation of hearing a hybrid of Fairport Convention meets The Velvet Underground, with sprinkles of Kate Bush. A varied landscape enhanced by modern electronic drones to give the sound an extra edge.
The albums begins poignantly with “Moonchild's Lullaby”,setting both a theme and a high standard of Celtic-folk as it segues into “Snowbound”. An atmospheric track augmented by lush strings in the format of old-English fold with a hypnotic guitar figure driving it forward.Electric guitar cranks arrive in the form of “Hollow Hill” with a full band backing and breathing fire, Thompsett lets loose with a rock-chick persona, respectively, still keeping the elements traditional beneath the distortion.
This is a fearless journey, courageous and worthwhile for any audience. An ambitious piece of work, conceptual in its themes of nature with an abundance of literary references. As the battle to reclaim the earth commences, in this eco-torn world of 2019, Kim Thompsett has her finger firmly planted in that very pulse, reminding us of the natural beauty all around us. That same awe inspiring beauty that is found in the arcane delights of The Hollows.
Kevin Burke, Peek-a-Boo Magazine, May 2019